Our Town - Our Choice!

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The decision of the O'Farrell government to spend $340 million from the proposed long term lease of Newcastle Port on replacing the rail service into Newcastle is the least beneficial use of these funds, according to Councillor Tim Crakanthorp. 

Cr Crakanthorp also asks the question: “Why the O’Farrell government, with $340million to spend, did not think it worthwhile to ask us what our preferences were?”

In a Notice of Motion to Newcastle Council Councillor Crakanthorp is proposing, in a project labelled “OUR TOWN – OUR CHOICE!”, that the funds be spent on a range of long overdue and very much needed infrastructure projects.

The projects include flood mitigation measures for Wallsend and Newcastle, a major parking station on Honeysuckle, two at grade crossings of the rail line, a commencement of the western bypass and the replacement of Adamstown Gates. Included in the proposal are funds to repair the badly decaying City Hall and funds to provide an aquatic centre at New Lambton and upgrade our inland swimming pools to make them more attractive, more efficient and more financially viable. 

Councillor Crakanthorp believes that not only are these projects much more worthwhile that the rail replacement they will have a significantly greater economic impact on our community. The fact that the funds would be spread across a range of construction types means that a much larger and wider range of local businesses would benefit . This is important given the expectation that the economy will be slowing over the next twelve months. 

“The projects proposed have all been put forward at various times. The parking station on Honeysuckle was a definite plan in the late nineties and then shelved. It construction will be extremely useful being close to the university' inner city site and it will serve to connect Honeysuckle and hunter street at a very useful point. And of course the Worth Place at grade crossing was not only planned by the Honeysuckle but the road leading to it constructed,” said Cr Crakanthorp. 

The concern expressed by Councillor Crakanthorp is that following the investment in the rail replacement there will be an absolute drought of state infrastructure funding on the grounds that we will have had more than our share. This means that these urgent and much needed projects will not be funded this decade.

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