The Property Council of Australia’s Hunter Director, Andrew Fletcher, is gearing up for Monday night’s Public Voice session at Newcastle Council, where he will urge Councillors to endorse UrbanGrowth NSW’s planning proposal for rail corridor land between Worth Place and Watt Street.

He said it was critical to maintaining momentum on the city’s transformation program.

Fletcher also highlighted that Councillors were “not being asked to give a final stamp of approval – this is about moving on with the gateway process and the next round of community consultation.”

“Last week the Council sent shockwaves through the investment community when they put the NSW Government’s vision for Newcastle on ice.”

The motion, to “lay the item on the table”, was to allow a public voice session for residents, further briefings from UrbanGrowth NSW and consideration of the Government’s transport plan.”

Fletcher said that after Monday night there would be nothing preventing the Councillors from voting to move forward.

“UrbanGrowth NSW will have provided the latest updates, up to 12 community members from both sides of the debate will have had their say at Public Voice and Councillors will have studied the NSW Government’s Hunter Regional Transport Plan which was released in March 2014.”

“It’s so important that delivery of the light rail network be in-sync with public domain upgrades along the old heavy rail corridor”

“We need those things to work hand-in-glove for a truly connected and liveable city.”

Fletcher said that “Councillors sitting on their hands to score cheap political points” risked further state infrastructure spending in the city and would jeopardise the $2 billion investment pipeline which is fuelling jobs and growth.

“The last thing Novocastrians want is for the corridor to become another Post Office – boarded up, inaccessible and rotting – while the shiny new trams roll by.”

 “The Lord Mayor has displayed outstanding civic leadership in recent days, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the Premier on $90 million worth of various funding announcements.”

“We need more of that - now’s the time to push on with transforming that post industrial rail corridor into the spine of a world-class regional capital and tourism destination”.

Other speakers in favour of the proposal are believed to be NBN’s former Sports Director, Mike Rabbit, Sista Code founder Melissa Histon and local businesswoman Alana Dagwell.

Media contact:  Andrew Fletcher  | M  0407 410 017  |  E  [email protected]