Plans to develop Newcastle heavy rail corridor may need Act of Parliament

THE state’s transport minister says ‘‘at this stage’’ the government does not believe an Act of Parliament is needed to authorise its plans for Newcastle’s rail corridor, although critics argue one would be needed before any development of the land could occur, reports the Newcastle Herald.

‘‘The final plans for the corridor have not been determined and will be subject to community consultation. At this stage it is not believed an Act of Parliament will be required.”Under the Transport Administration Act, the government needs Parliament’s authority to close a rail line.

“A railway line is closed if the land concerned is sold or otherwise disposed of or the railway tracks and other works concerned are removed,” the act states.

But in June, a Transport for NSW spokesman told the Newcastle Herald ‘‘an Act of Parliament is not required to truncate the Newcastle heavy rail branch line at Wickham’’.

Save Our Rail president Joan Dawson said the group was taking legal advice on any grounds for seeking an injunction to stop the government’s truncation of the heavy rail beginning on December 26.

Read the full article at the Newcastle Herald.