BY JARROD MELMETH
Communities along the proposed Lower Hunter freight rail corridor are expressing their concerns about the lack of consultation.
The plans for the 30-kilometre rail line proposed between Fassifern and Hexham were released last week to the enthusiasm from the broader Hunter community but residents who live along the planned route fear the impacts on their properties.
The plans feature four alternative routes where small communities at Killingsworth, Holmesville, West Wallsend and Barnsley are on all four of the proposed routes.
Cessnock MP Clayton Barr whose electorate is largely impacted by the proposed routes says the consultation process needs to be more targeted.
“These quiet villages have really felt the brunt of the expansion and the slow creep to the west of Lake Macquarie and Newcastle and now we are talking about a freight rail line.
“There is just so much out there to preserve and be careful of. There is so much about peoples lifestyles, sometimes intergenerational lifestyles and we have to respect that. We can’t just mow through and just say progress is good.
“This has been many years, even decades in the making. Why are we only being given this really short window to understand the project and provide feedback.
“Ill be seeking an extension through Transport for NSW for submissions,” Mr Barr said.
Consultation closes August 17 and can be provided here.