The Australian Senate has passed a Greens motion calling on the NSW Government to reverse its decision to truncate the heavy rail line into Newcastle.
Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon said: "This is the second time the federal Senate has asked the NSW Government to reverse its decision to truncate the heavy rail line into Newcastle.
"The Greens put this motion before the Senate again as the bill to truncate the heavy rail line into Newcastle is before the NSW parliament.
"The Australian Senate in passing this motion has sent a clear message to the Baird government that this irresponsible Bill should be scrapped.
"Thousands of people use the heavy rail line to directly access the Newcastle city centre.
"The whole Hunter region will suffer as this rail line is critical to sustainable transport and local productivity. Many will be forced to use their cars and will have to endure lengthy delays."
Greens NSW MP and Transport Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC said: "The federal Senate has today added its voice to that of the communities of Newcastle and the Hunter who are opposed to the cutting of the rail line to Newcastle. In contrast, today the NSW government shamefully blocked even the tabling of a petition from hundreds of NSW residents opposed to the cut.
"If the NSW Government won't listen to the people of the Hunter and Newcastle, surely they must listen to their colleagues in the federal Senate, calling on them to abandon this disastrous plan.
"The NSW Government should be building a world class public transport system in Newcastle by retaining and improving the rail line, complemented by a light rail system that expands public transport access" she concluded.
NOTICE OF MOTION 14 September 2015
I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move that -
That the Senate -
a) Notes that:
i) a NSW parliamentary inquiry has recommended that rail services and infrastructure that have been removed from the Newcastle heavy rail line be immediately reinstated,
ii) the rail line closure would be a public transport disaster for the Hunter region and for NSW, with patronage significantly lower since services were stopped at Hamilton in 2014; and
b) Calls on:
i) the Federal Government to commit to funding public transport infrastructure in NSW,
ii) the NSW Government reverse its decision to truncate the heavy rail line into Newcastle.
SENATOR LEE RHIANNON