Newcastle rail: Conspiracy theorists remaining on track

admin | 杭州桑拿
4 Dec 2018

How serious is Labor when its says it wants to stop “greedy developers”?► Rail corridor bill looks set to fail

►Planning hearing to open

I’M yet to hear of a more sensible measure to placate concerns about the truncation of Newcastle’s rail line emerging from the recent corruption inquiry into political donations – and to silence conspiracy theorists.

But Greg Piper’s bill to prevent development of the rail corridor for uses other than passive recreation, cafes and community spaces seems destined to go without the support it needs to become law.

One would think if removing the heavy rail and installing light rail along part of the corridor was not an elaborate ruse for handing over the rest of the land to developers to erect soaring apartment towers, then the Baird government would just back the independent MP’s bill.

And if Labor was serious about stopping the “greedy developers”, why not lend its support?

But in state politics, commonsense rarely applies.

Governments typically don’t like private members’ bills, as they tend to look foolish for not coming up with the idea in the first place.

And Labor, still campaigning against the removal of the rail, won’t want to lose one of its key arguments – that the government is cosying up to developers after a number of them filled the Liberal Party’s coffers with illegal donations ahead of the last election.

The ALP would also be reluctant to help Piper when it still hopes to take back his seat some day, even if his bill is aimed at protecting the community’s interests.

If the government won’t back the bill, we need it to explain what will happen to the corridor land, before it closes the heavy rail in less than two months.

And before we start listening to the conspiracies.

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