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Newcastle rail line revelations proof of government shonky decision

Sep 21, 2017Media releases

MEDIA RELEASE                                                                                                21 September 2017

Newcastle rail line revelations proof of government shonky decision

Revelations today that the NSW Government’s decision to close the last section of the Newcastle rail line were made prior to any costing or assessment of the light rail replacement prove the decision wasn’t made to benefit commuters and was a disgraceful use of public funds.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW Secretary, Alex Claassens, said the union and local community fought hard to protect the line from closure because of the negative impact it would have – and has proven to have – on commuters.

“Unfortunately this confirms everything we suspected, but were hoping wasn’t true – that the NSW Government’s decision to shut the rail line wasn’t made with commuters in mind at all,” Mr Claassens said.

“It made absolutely no sense to close the Newcastle line at the time, and it still makes no sense now. Every city in the world would love a top-class rail line leading straight into town, and here our State Government was tearing it up.

“The only people who stood to benefit from the rail line closure were property developers, not the travelling public. These latest revelations only cement that thinking.

“This was never about improving transport for commuters – this was about lining the pockets of some of the government’s mates.

“The Premier at the time stood in front of the people of Newcastle and claimed that the shutting of the rail line was necessary because it was part of their plans to make Newcastle’s transport system world-class. We knew that was rubbish at the time, and now it’s been proven.

“The NSW Government has shown complete disregard for the people of Newcastle time and again when it comes to public transport.”

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