Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

Newcastle light rail: Hopes for business compensation run off the rails

Jan 24, 2018Uncategorized

Why would this Minister give any support to the community with rent relief, after he has demonstrated time and time again that he has no regard for any member of the community. Whether it’s small business owners who are affected by the light rail, commuters who are bearing the brunt of their services being privatised, workers who are losing their jobs, or tax payers who are having their money wasted on projects which are poorly planned and soar above budget.

This NSW Government continues to disregard the interests of the public.

Read the article below, or on the Newcastle Herald

By Michael Parris

THE state government has poured cold water on hopes of light-rail compensation in Newcastle the day before more than 100 businesses gather for a forum on the subject with the NSW Small Business Commissioner.

Hunter Business Chamber and Newcastle Now say they have organised the forum so the SBC can explain “how they can assist business, in context of the challenges being experienced around the light-rail project”.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian raised hopes of help for Newcastle traders when she said on a visit to the city last month: “If there’s demonstrated loss, we’re always considering rental assistance. That’s what we’ve done for other projects in other parts of NSW, so, of course, we’ll look at those issues.”

The government has set up a rent-relief scheme in Sydney, but Transport for NSW said on Tuesday that Newcastle was different.

“The situation in Newcastle is not the same as in Sydney, and we can’t create a cookie-cutter model because any form of assistance to business has to be tailored to individual needs,” it said.

“As the Premier said, we are always happy to consider ways to support the small business community.

“But so far construction on Newcastle light rail is progressing well, and we expect contractors to get in and out of zones on time. In some construction zones in Sydney, businesses who were prepared for a nine-month construction period have dealt with more than two years of construction.”

Read the full story on the Newcastle Herald here.