30 April 2014
Sharon Claydon has condemned the NSW Liberal Government for their paltry commitment to Newcastle following the announcement of the $1.75 billion lease of the Port of Newcastle.
Despite the gross proceeds of the lease delivering about $1 billion more than originally estimated, the NSW Liberal Government confirmed that Newcastle would still only receive $340 million.
“This announcement is an insult to Newcastle,” Ms Claydon said.
“The Liberal Government has hocked the city’s greatest, highly-profitable asset, to the highest bidder and is investing less than twenty percent of the proceeds back in to Newcastle,” she added.
“On the initial sale estimate we were due to receive about half of the proceeds, which at the time, I believed was too low. Now to receive confirmation that this has been cut to less than one fifth is a disgrace.”
“I don’t think any Novocastrian would believe that sending eighty percent of our port’s profits to Sydney is either smart or fair.”
Ms Claydon has called on the NSW Liberal Government to reassess their investment into Newcastle and increase the local funds commitment.
“At the very least, I call on the state Government to match their original funding rate of nearly fifty percent of the proceeds to be invested in Newcastle.
“The NSW Premier has called today’s announcement a great result for Newcastle. I would suggest that a great result for Newcastle would be proportionate investment into our city, recognising our core contribution to the state’s economy and increasing the funding to a far higher level.”