Newcastle protesters march on parliament

Issue 

BY GEOFF PAYNE

NEWCASTLE — On November 19, 50 opponents of the state Labor government's plan to cut rail services between Broadmeadow and Newcastle boarded the 8am train to Sydney to rally outside Parliament House.

Chanting slogans made up on the train, we marched as a colourful, noisy contingent from St James station. Other supporters gathered to hear several Newcastle-based Labor MPs as well as speakers from the Greens, Democrats, and Socialist Alliance.

All the Newcastle-based Labor MPs pledged their support for the campaign. They know that public opinion is against the government on this issue.

Two days after the protest, NSW Premier Bob Carr's government released its second Lower Hunter Transport Working Group report. This report goes completely against the assurance given by Carr to the Newcastle Herald on March 18, 1995, in which he stated: "Rail services to Newcastle station will be maintained and Newcastle station will be kept open."

The government looking at the closure of rail services between Broadmeadow and Newcastle stations as the likeliest, that is cheapest, of five options. The next action of the Save Our Rail Campaign will be at noon on December 6, opposite Newcastle station. A big showing is required as the community response to this report.

From Green Left Weekly, November 26, 2003.
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