Press Release – 24/08/2010

Save Our Rail NSW Inc – Press Release 24/08/2010

  • Save Our Rail is not surprised by the GPT announcement regarding their intention to pull out of their Newcastle CBD retail and residential proposal. Commercial reality has been accepted by GPT. Newcastle does not have the population to support such a development. The fact that the legal precinct is to be re-located from that immediate area would have been a factor.
  • The GPT ultimatum — that they would not proceed with the project unless the rail line was cut, was the driver behind the recent round of investigations into the rail line’s future.
  • There is now an opportunity for a rail based revitalization of Newcastle as advocated by Infrastructure Australia, as Transit Oriented Development.
  • Based on the comments by the Minister for the Hunter on radio it seems the Government’s decision to terminate rail at Wickham pre-empts the completion of investigations being undertaken into its feasibility.
  • Could this become another “CBD Metro” debacle?
  • Applications for Federal Government funding should now address the wider transport needs of the community, including the Hunter Region and the needs of connection within under-serviced parts of Newcastle.
  • Such proposals could be similar to the WELL (Western Education Link Line) being suggested by Save Our Rail. This would use light rail to link Waratah West with The University, Wallsend and Glendale using the former rail corridor. It would build on the existing rail to provide improvement for transport, rather than closing a valuable piece of infrastructure.

Joan Dawson, President, SAVE OUR RAIL NSW INC

•    Save Our Rail is not surprised by the GPT announcement regarding their intention to pull out of their Newcastle CBD retail and residential proposal. Commercial reality has been accepted by GPT. Newcastle does not have the population to support such a development. The fact that the legal precinct is to be re-located from that immediate area would have been a factor.
•    The GPT ultimatum — that they would not proceed with the project unless the rail line was cut, was the driver behind the recent round of investigations into the rail line’s future.
•    There is now an opportunity for a rail based revitalization of Newcastle as
advocated by Infrastructure Australia, as Transit Oriented Development.
•    Based on the comments by the Minister for the Hunter on radio it seems the Government’s decision to terminate rail at Wickham pre-empts the completion of investigations being undertaken into its feasibility.
•    Could this become another “CBD Metro” debacle?
•    Applications for Federal Government funding should now address the wider transport needs of the community, including the Hunter Region and the needs of connection within under-serviced parts of Newcastle
•    Such proposals could be similar to the WELL (Western Education Link Line) being suggested by Save Our Rail. This would use light rail to link Waratah West with The University, Wallsend and Glendale using the former rail corridor. It would build on the existing rail to provide improvement for transport, rather than closing a valuable piece of infrastructure.