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Derailed: High Court delivers blow to Save Our Rail

Jun 17, 2017News

THE future of Save Our Rail in Hunter public transport debate has been dealt a critical blow, with the High Court rejecting the group’s bid to appeal a ruling in favour of the NSW government.

On Thursday the court dismissed the group’s application against a NSW Court of Appeal ruling handed down last December in favour of the government’s Hunter Development Corporation (HDC), and ordered it to pay costs.

Thursday’s decision leaves Save Our Rail owing the state government an estimated $800,000 to $1 million, though it would be unusual for the government to pursue the full payment.

But Save Our Rail’s president Joan Dawson and vice president Kim Cross defended the legal action, and said the group would remain a force in public life.

“Nothing Save Our Rail has done has been for its financial gain or that of its members, and it has been transparent in all dealings,” Ms Dawson and Ms Cross said in a statement.

“Members of SOR are proud of what we have achieved and will continue to fight for improved transport in the Hunter.”

Michael Cassel, the HDC chief executive, lauded the court’s ruling at a Newcastle meeting of the Urban Development Institute of Australia on Thursday afternoon.

“Now hopefully, fingers crossed, that’s it. No more Save Our Rail debacles to deal with,” Mr Cassel said.

Mr Cassel said the numerous legal challenges by Save Our Rail over the years against the removal of Newcastle’s heavy rail line had “changed nothing”.

 

Read more on the Newcastle Herald

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