Three Maitland candidates to front forum on region’s transport

Liberal Steve Thomson will be the only state election candidate for Maitland who will not attend a forum on the region’s transport ­tomorrow night, reports the Maitland Mercury.

Mr Thomson, who has previously told the Mercury that he is in favour of the government’s move of cutting the heavy rail line into Newcastle, declined an invitation to the forum, hosted by pro-rail advocacy group Save Our Rail.

All candidates were invited to attend.

Candidates will each be given 15 minutes to outline their policies at the forum, with an emphasis on their transport plans.

Members of the public will then be invited to ask the candidates questions.

Maitland Save Our Rail president Kim Cross will also update the meeting on the result of the Supreme Court directions hearing regarding the rail truncation tomorrow ­morning.

“On Christmas Eve last year Save Our Rail won an historic victory in the Supreme Court of NSW when Justice Adams held that the NSW government cannot close the rail line into Newcastle unless it first passes legislation through both houses of Parliament in accordance with the Transport Administration Act,” she said.

“However the fact is that diesel and electric rail services into Newcastle Station can be restored within weeks if the political will existed to do so.”

The forum will be held at St Peters church hall at 7pm tomorrow and is open to the public.

Read the full article at the Maitland Mercury.