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 26 September 2013

The NSW Government will invite the community to have its say on the future of the Port of Newcastle, with the scoping study for the proposed 99-year lease of the port well underway.


Following a meeting with the Newcastle Port Corporation’s (NPC) Board, NSW Treasurer Mike Baird today announced the establishment of a Community Liaison Group to be convened by the NPC.


“The Community Liaison Group will provide a forum for regular community and stakeholder feedback on port operations and activities throughout the scoping study phase, and beyond,” said Mr Baird.


“The NSW Government is well aware that the people of Newcastle are keen to hear how the transaction - if successful - will enable what will effectively be the re-invention of our second-largest city.


“With the scoping study for the proposed long-term lease well underway and planning for the light rail construction timetable on track, the government’s objective is to provide a forum where on-going input from the local community can be heard in an open, indepepenndent and meaningful way.


The Community Liaison Group will include individuals and representatives from a range of community and recreational groups including the Member for Newcastle – Tim Owen, representatives from the City of Newcastle, key port users and tenants, local business and industry groups, and relevant transport and planning experts.


Mr Baird reiterated that the government expects to receive the scoping study by the end of 2013, but would only proceed with the transaction if the study confirms it is value for money.


“As announced earlier this week, the scoping work for delivering the Newcastle Light Rail is also underway – a project that will contribute to the transformation and renewal of the city centre.”


Newcastle MP Tim Owen said light rail in the Newcastle city centre will improve the city’s economy, improve access, increase connections and boost the amenity of the CBD.


“The detailed light rail analysis underway will examine the location for the new transport interchange, the most appropriate alignment for light rail in the Newcastle city centre, and opportunities for future connections to link the light rail to surrounding suburbs, beaches and the broader Hunter region.”


“The Government’s commitment to Newcastle’s renewal will unlock its potential as a vibrant place to live and visit,” Mr Owen said.


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