Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Thumbs up to city campus, thumbs down to rail cut

Newcastle Greens
26 May 2009

The Greens today welcomed newly released plans for a city campus, but said that the rehashed proposal to cut the city’s rail line was both an embarrassment and a missed opportunity.

“The Greens have long advocated a greater university presence in the city, and it’s good to see that the Hunter Development Corporation’s revitalisation strategy supports this.

“But 8,000 more students and university workers in the city make the need for better rail services even greater.

“The Hunter Development Corporation’s report arguing for cutting the Newcastle rail line is simply a rehash of previously discredited attempts to take the rail line away from the community,” Cr Osborne said.

“It’s based on biased assumptions and flawed methodology, and fails to produce a proposal capable of uniting the community around a commonly shared, environmentally sustainable vision for the city’s future,” Cr Osborne said.

“The plan’s proposal to cut the rail line in order to expand road transport will condemn the city to an unsustainable future of increased car use, and all the problems that such a strategy entails.

“Preliminary examination of the argument and the costing behind the report’s cut-the-rail proposal indicate that an anti-rail bias has been built in to the assessment methodology,” Cr Osborne said.

“If they are serious about this exercise, both state and federal governments should look carefully and critically at the way the report assesses the options.

“Trying to get federal infrastructure and revitalisation funding based on a sloppy proposal to cut a rail line will be simply embarrassing for Newcastle, and may actually jeopardise our chances,” Cr Osborne said.

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