Greens MP and Planning Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
"The arrogance and contempt that the NSW Coalition government has shown the
people of Newcastle has brought them unstuck in the Supreme Court today.
"The government was attempting to use a legal charade involving the Hunter
Development Corporation to avoid the clear statutory prohibition on sale or
closure of the rail corridor.
"In a victory for the rule of law and plain common sense the Supreme Court
has found that neither the government or the Hunter Development Corporation
can close the Newcastle railway line without approval of the Parliament.
"The Premier has said that the cost of delaying tearing up the rail line
would run to $220,000 a week.
"Now that the Court has found the government's plans were essentially
unlawful every dollar wasted should be paid by the NSW Liberal party whose
reckless decision making has exposed taxpayers to these costs.
"Today I give full credit to the tireless and voluntary work of the Save
our Rail team who have been fearlessly protecting the public interest. The
people of Newcastle and the Hunter owe them a great debt.
"Even with this victory the struggle to save Newcastle's rail line is far
"I have little doubt the government will seek to appeal and whatever the
final outcome in Court the contest will move to the new Parliament when it
returns after the March 2015 election.
"The Greens remain committed to being consistent, principled and unwavering
supporters of the Newcastle rail line in our work in the community and in
the Parliament," Mr Shoebridge said.