Parliamentary Secretary: Govt dodged a bullet

Parliamentary Secretary Scot McDonald says that the government dodged a bullet on the cutting of the rail line and that his door is closed to anyone who does not support the government’s plan for the Newcastle CBD and that he plans to filter out negative people, reports the Maitland Mercury.

The Hunter’s new representative in state Parliament says he only wants to hear from people who have something positive to say about the region.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter and Central Coast Scot MacDonald told a Maitland Business Chamber meeting yesterday that he did not want to discuss issues such as the controversial Newcastle rail truncation.

“We [NSW Coalition] took a bloody nose in this area at the last state election but we dodged a bullet and won the election at a government level,” he said.

“If you’re negative about Maitland, if you’re a protester, if you want to revisit the history of rail truncation, go and see someone else. I’m not your man.

While the Coalition won government at the March election, Labor won all but one Hunter seat.

Coalition ministers had previously said publicly that the election would effectively be a referendum on the government’s transport plans for the Hunter, which included the rail truncation.

Save Our Rail vice-president Kim Cross said she was disappointed that Mr MacDonald was unwilling to discuss the government’s plan to remove Newcastle’s heavy rail line into the CBD.

Stakeholders in the rail truncation debate are awaiting the result of multiple High Court appeals over the December closure of the rail line from Hamilton station.

Read the full article at the Maitland Mercury.