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What’s the rush? Nile joins calls for Newcastle line delay

Oct 3, 2014News

The chair of the committee looking into the government’s handling of the Newcastle rail line decision has added his voice to the call for the plans to be delayed.

Reverend Fred Nile said the plans to rip up the rail line into Newcastle have caused serious concern among the community, and said he could see no reason why the plans shouldn’t be delayed until a full inquiry has been held.

Reverend Nile told the Newcastle Herald that he had been pressured by the NSW Government to oppose the inquiry in the first instance. The inquiry passed through the upper house last month after the Greens, backed by Labor, the Christian Democrats and the Shooters and Fishers Party, introduced it into parliament.

‘‘I know the state government was very unhappy there was going to be an inquiry – I had a lot of pressure put on me to not support it – but I said I think there’s so much concern in the community about it, I couldn’t oppose it,” Rev Niles told the Newcastle Herald.

The committee is due to hand down its findings in March, ahead of the state election, however Rev Nile has suggested an interim report will be available before Boxing Day, when the line is due to close.

The controversial rail line decision is set to be a key feature of the Newcastle by-elections, which have come about as a result of Ministers standing aside as a result of ICAC investigations, being held in October.