Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Newcastle Port

The following Motion that I submitted was adopted unanimously by Council... (though the second part was withdrawn following an objection from Councillor Nelmes and others)




That Newcastle Council
1. As a matter of urgency, write to the Hon Brad Hazzard, Minister for Planning and the Hon Duncan Gay, Minister for Ports, stating that no decisions should be made regarding the Mayfield site Port-related activities Concept Plan until
a. Newcastle Council and the local community are fully briefed on the proposal,
b. The concerns of Newcastle Council and the local community are properly addressed,
c. A proper community consultative process regarding the former BHP Steelworks site at Mayfield has been carried out, and
d. The Newcastle Port Corporation’s overall Strategic Development Plan for the entire Port of Newcastle is released for public comment.
2. Writes to the Premier and all local State and Federal MPs to protest the way in which Newcastle Port Corporation has conducted consultative processes regarding the redevelopment of the former BHP Steelworks site at Mayfield and the planning for the Port of Newcastle.


The situation that Council has been left in a position where it is unable to comment on the Department of Planning and Infrastructure’s draft conditions of approval for the Concept Plan for the former BHP Steelworks site at Mayfield is untenable.

Newcastle City Council represents the residents and ratepayers who live in the suburbs around the Newcastle Port and their concerns must be taken into account with the overall planning for the Port and individual development proposals.

A brief timeline of events follows.

A. 3 March 2011 – Council submission to the Department of Planning (Mayfield site Port related activities Concept Plan MP09/0096) seeking particular commitments from both the State Government and Newcastle Port Corporation regarding

1. Traffic and Transport Infrastructure including –
1.1 Traffic Impact
1.2 Future Transport Infrastructure
1.3 Local Area Traffic Management (LATM)
1.4 Upgrading Freight Rail Network and Level Crossings

2. Flooding, Stormwater and Water Quality Management

3. Contaminated Land including
3.1 Potential dedication of contaminated assets to Council
3.2 Environmental Commitments and Performance

4. Provision of Services

5. Section 94A – requesting that the proponent commit to funding and delivery of all new infrastructure, required upgrades to existing infrastructure and delivery of all identified mitigation measures in association with their proposed Concept Plan and noting that the Newcastle Port Corporation Concept Plan is not exempt from payment of s94A contributions.

B. 7 June 2011 – Councillors unanimously endorse a resolution ‘Newcastle Port Development’:

1. Newcastle Council:
(i) Calls on the State Government to work with the Federal Government to build a Mayfield portside rail line from the Sandgate junction to service the former BHP site before any proposed redevelopment occurs.
(ii) Calls on the State Government to work with the Federal Government to build the Tourle St Bridge, and Kooragang road network duplication, to service Kooragang Island, Stockton and Newcastle Airport.
(iii) Calls on the State Government to release to the public its Master Port Plan and to expedite an Integrated Port Planning Strategy for the port that would include proper consideration of the cumulative impacts of all the proposed port redevelopment on nearby residents, strategies to reduce this impact and proper consultation with residents
(iv) Calls on the State Government to install dust monitoring equipment to measure fine particulates (PM 2.5) in all suburbs in the Newcastle area that surround the Port and to make this monitoring data available to the Newcastle community.
2. Newcastle Council write to all relevant State and Federal MPs to enlist their support for these proposals.
3. Newcastle Council reiterates its support for the Newcastle freight bypass rail line to improve the efficiency of freight movements on the rail network and to improve passenger train movements in the Newcastle area. The Newcastle freight bypass rail line would stop the excessive delays at the Adamstown gates for example.
4. Newcastle Council invites the Newcastle Port Corporation, the Port Waratah Coal Service, Buildev and the Tinkler Hunter Ports group to address Council on their proposed plans for the redevelopment of the Newcastle Port.

C. 15 November 2011 – Submission from Newcastle City Council to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure (15 Nov 2011 Development Assessment Team) which notes:

“As Council has not had the opportunity to review any documentation associated with this revised development scope it is not possible to ascertain if the proposed draft conditions are reasonable or adequate as Council has no way of understanding what the anticipated environmental impacts of the modified proposal may now be.

Accordingly, Council does not propose to offer any comment on the draft conditions”.

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