Petty Politics

The Property Council of Australia says it’s time for the Labor-Greens alliance on Newcastle City Council to put away the “petty politics” and start showing civic leadership.

Hunter Director, Andrew Fletcher, said that for the second time in two weeks, the same voting bloc had held up progress in the city centre.

“Two weeks ago they refused a 30-unit, inner-city affordable housing project reserved for key workers, and last night they robbed the community of a chance to have their say on the former rail corridor this year.”

“They have offered no explanations – only empty rhetoric”

After using her casting vote last October to support UrbanGrowth NSW’s planning proposal, Fletcher said the Lord Mayor had “flip-flopped” to avoid any contention in the lead-up to September’s local government elections.

“Make no mistake – this is a delaying tactic by Labor and The Greens so they can sidestep community consultation.”

He said their duty was to maintain momentum on the city’s transformation program.

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

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.

“It sends shockwaves through the investment community every time they put the NSW Government’s vision for Newcastle on ice.”

“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.”

 “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.”

Media contact:  Andrew Fletcher | M 0407 410 017 | E afletcher@propertycouncil.com.au