SOR e-News: April/May 2014

Issue no. 14 April/May 2014 | Joan Dawson, President


These “e briefing notes” are an important part of our communications with supporters. We are continuing to expand the distribution list so if this is your first edition welcome.

The year is rolling on very fast and the Government continues to attempt to railroad the Hunter Community that truncating the Intercity rail services and installing light rail is the way forward. SOR asks why is Newcastle out of step with the trends of the rest of the world.

We must all apply maximum effort and that means everyone.

I have been away on South American adventure, but back again now and up to my eyebrows in information and action to keep the rail into Newcastle.

There have been amazing political events in the past month, including the resignation of Barry O’Farrell as Premier and other revelations are ongoing with other corrupt actions being uncovered by ICAC, causing the Government to be like a musical chairs event. Now Gallacher, ex Minister for the Hunter, is in the eye of the storm, no longer a Minister and possibly about to quit politics.

ICAC is an independent body charged with investigating corruption in Government, including at the local level.

If any SOR members have items that can prove corrupt behaviour of any person in an official position they should put in an application to ICAC.

If you have information that affects the Newcastle Rail Line, which could fit the descriptions set out as corruption, on the ICAC website, please report it or bring it to SOR to allow us to help you to prepare an application.

Upcoming Meetings

SOR MEETING LOWER HUNTER BRANCH – Wednesday 7th May 5.30 p.m. at Newcastle Leagues Club, National Park Street. (opposite Spotlight)

SOR MEETING MAITLAND BRANCH – Wednesday 14th May, 7.00 p.m. St Peter’s Hall, East Maitland

If you have information or items to be considered at any of these meetings please email it to

For more information or to be placed on our lists please also contact

Newcastle Rail line battle is certainly not lost

I have heard a few mutters ”what’s the use” and a few bloggers have posted that SOR has given up.

The facts are the fight is probably more winnable now than for most of last year.

Consider the position:-

  • Government is in crisis over ICAC investigations of funding improprieties
  • Government bodies are arguing between themselves
  • The departments and advisors are becoming highly confused
  • The facts they were using are rapidly turning to fiction
  • The costs are blowing out
  • The Owen mandate myth is well and truly busted
  • The grand vision of light rail is shattered
  • The community has seen through the smoke and mirrors
  • The money can be spent better elsewhere far more prudently.
  • The Property Council is being discredited
  • The election is coming fast!

Letters to The Media

Several of our members and friends are regular letter writers and I am sure they have played an important part in distributing quality information and wounding the opposition.

When you write letters try to be factual. The rail cutters often state that SOR is not truthful but we know that facts beats fiction.

In The Save Our Rail submissions we are careful to reference information and be accurate.

We are working to widen the distribution of the media releases and letters.

All Hunter media encourage “Letters to the Editor”. The Telegraph and Sydney Morning Herald would also be a great target.

The best strategy is to keep the letters short and very clear. Stick to one key point and write with conviction. It’s easy and enjoyable to see your letter in print.

And For the Keen Letter Writers

For keen writers should get Baird and Berejiklian’ electorate and should reach Brad Hazzard’s electorate. The message could be based on how those in the electorate will be disadvantaged when making a train trip to Newcastle Station, a cheap enjoyable weekend day trip.


SOR has a very active Facebook site. It is well worth checking out and is a great source of up to date information.

Log on and help us get to 500 likes. Tell your friends, groups and contacts.

Web Site

Our web site is a very valuable resource. It contains lots of information. Most of the SOR documents can be downloaded from the web site.

Bye for Now

I hope you find this E- news to have value. Keep up the good work with petitions and letters as we need all to pull together and stay united in our stand to Save Our Rail.

Joan Dawson President,