Save Our Rail seeks support to block changes to Transport Administration Act

Opponents of the truncation of the Maitland Newcastle railway are seeking support from upper house MPs to block legislative changes by the government.

Opponents of the truncation of the Maitland Newcastle railway are seeking support from upper house MPs to block legislative changes by the government.

Objectors to the state ­government’s plan to cut Newcastle’s heavy rail line say they want to explain to two MPs, who will be crucial in a vote on the rail’s future next week, how the truncation will affect commuters in Maitland.

The state government tabled changes to the Transport Administration Act in parliament this week.

The act was the catalyst for a High Court ruling in December that the government needed an act of ­parliament to remove the train line into Newcastle CBD.

Despite a pending decision on an appeal, that was heard in July, it is likely that changes to the act will be the subject of a vote in the upper house on Tuesday.

Labor, the Greens and the Christian Democratic Party have all expressed opposition to the rail cut.

It is likely that two upper house MPs from the Fishers and Shooters Party, Robert Brown and Robert Borsak, will hold the key votes that the government needs to change the law and allow the rail cut to go ahead.

Save Our Rail vice president Kim Cross said much of the debate had centred on the impact that the truncation would have on Newcastle CBD.

But she said Save Our Rail wanted the chance to meet with Mr Brown and Mr Borsak to explain the impact the rail cut would have on Hunter residents outside Newcastle, in places such as Maitland.

“The Shooters and Fishers Party literature talks about supporting regional Australia,” Ms Cross said.

“Rather than consider it a Newcastle electorate issue, it should be seen as part of a transport network used by people from Maitland and the Upper Hunter.

“They will be the ones most severely impacted.”

The group has planned a rally­ ­outside state parliament house in Sydney on Tuesday morning, the day that the vote is expected to be taken.

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