Monday, June 8, 2009

Submission to Senate Standing Committee re Commonwealth & State funds for passenger Transport with reference to Honeysuckle BBC funding‏

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Sir,

Inquiry into the investment of Commonwealth and State funds in public passenger transport infrastructure and services

The Parks and Playgrounds Movement is a community organisation established in the early 1930s. Its secretary was the C E W Bean, the historian, lawyer and journalist. It was brought to Newcastle in 1952 by R.E. Farrell, and continues the work to safeguard our Natural and Cultural Heritage. The Movement’s early work included the protection of the openspace provisions of the 1952 Northumberland County District Town and Country Planning Scheme.

Parks and Playgrounds Movement has been deeply concerned at the way funds from the Building Better Cities Initiative of the Commonwealth Government were allowed to be misdirected by the NSW State Government with respect to the Honeysuckle Development Corporation at Central Honeysuckle Newcastle.

We are totally opposed to the misdirected activities of the Honeysuckle Development Corporation over the past 15 years in continually denigrating the importance of rail access to the City and for allowing the removal of 3 pedestrian overpasses and 2 road crossings in their development and the current outrageous push to have the commonwealth fund the removal of direct railway access to historic Newcastle.

The Honeysuckle Approved Scheme 1993 adopted under the NSW Growth Centres Act of 1974 was flawed in that it did not acknowledge and blend with the 1988 Bicentennial harbour foreshore work which was partly funded by the a Commonwealth Grants used to implement features of the Winning Design from the International Competition that informed the Newcastle Harbour Foreshore Landscape and Urban Design which was published in 1982. The Competition was assessed by a team of noted Architects and landscape Consultants lead by Lawrence Halprin the internationally renowned Landscape Architect and Urban Designer of San Francisco.

The principal characteristic of the Foreshore design was the landscaped rail corridor providing a uniquely attractive rail entrance direct to the Historic Newcastle Railway Station.

The Movement would be pleased to present evidence to the Senate Standing Committee outlining why and how future funding can be properly targeted to improving all aspects to the railway access to historic Newcastle and promote historic Newcastle as a destination. We are adamant that commonwealth MUST NOT USE scarce public funds to further debilitate public railway access to Newcastle from its hinterland and the Central Coast and Sydney.

The enclosed essays are provided to demonstrate the Movement’s attitude to this issue and its opinion that Newcastle’s 150 year rail access and distinctive railway station is a boon to the city of Newcastle and can be integrated with future transit orientated development of the region.

Yours Faithfully,

Doug Lithgow Freeman of the City of Newcastle
President of the Parks and Playgrounds Movement Inc.

No comments: