Labor commits $750 million to Hunter Region from sale of Newcastle Port

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NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson has today committed that a Labor Government will return $750 million or exactly one-half the net Newcastle Port privatisation proceeds to the people of the Hunter. 

The money which represents one of the greatest single investments in the regions history will be reserved by Labor towards infrastructure projects in the Hunter and the revitalisation of Newcastle.

Today’s commitment is a significant increase to the money previously promised by the Liberal Government.

Crucially, Mr Robertson emphasised that Labor unlike the Liberals would not waste $340 million of precious Port proceeds ripping up the Newcastle Rail Line.

Instead, this money would be invested straight into projects.

“I am proud to be in Newcastle for this landmark announcement – guaranteeing the people of the Hunter $750 million from the sale of Newcastle Port,” Mr Robertson said on a visit to Newcastle today with Labor Candidates Tim Crakanthorp (Newcastle) and Jodie Harrison (Charlestown) and Lord Mayoral Candidate Nuatali Nelmes.

“The Liberals are spending $340 million ripping out public transport. Labor will spend that – and more investing directly in Newcastle and the Hunter’s future.

“My message to people is simple. Mike Baird and the Liberals short-changed you from the Port sale.

“The Hunter deserves more – and Labor will give you more. We are determined to lead the transformation of Newcastle and deliver progress for the entire region.

"I want to make it clear a vote for Labor is a vote for progress."

Labor today also reiterated its commitment to invest the $120 million of non-port-related money that has already been allocated to the Hunter in the State Budget in addition to the $750 million.

“Other cities around the world would give anything to have a rail connection to their city centre. It is vandalism for the Liberals to waste $340 million ripping up a train link that already exists and that people are using,” Mr Robertson said.

“I want to spend money on building infrastructure – not use the money to rip out infrastructure.

“The Liberals want to waste money on bulldozers and demolition works – Labor will invest every cent in transformative projects.”

Labor Candidate for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp said: “This commitment is the first step in transforming our city. It is proof that Labor is in tune with the aspirations of all of us who believe in Newcastle getting ahead.

“I have been pushing for this because I want to see jobs and opportunities for people in Newcastle.”

Labor Candidate for Charlestown Jodie Harrison said: “This is an exciting and historic announcement. The Liberals’ plan to spend $340 million to rip up a rail line in the CBD was always wasteful and absurd.”

“John Robertson’s announcement ensures that more money will be invested and it will also be invested more wisely – not just into the Newcastle CBD but the wider suburbs and communities of the Hunter.” 

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