The Newcastle Alliance is disappointed with the reaction and protests planned for today regarding the Newcastle Urban Renewal Strategy.

The City of Newcastle, and the Region as a whole, has been waiting decades for positive moves to reinvigorate the City.

"We are quite disappointed with Mr Robertson's moves today. It is nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt and is not a true reflection of what is really going to occur with the Urban Renewal Strategy. It's like comparing a car trip on the F3 to the very fast train - they just do not compare with each other,' said Alliance Chair Paul Murphy today.

"The NSW State Government as far back as Minister Costa has been calling for the Urban Renewal and removal of heavy rail in to the City, why the sudden change in their philosophy," he said.

"Last Friday was a fantastic and positive day for the future of the City, today is not going to achieve anything other than to derail the confidence that was beginning to return for retailers and investors."

The decision has been made. Let's move forward not only for inner City Newcastle, but the Hunter as a whole.

"We have had decades of inaction by previous NSW Governments. The O'Farrell Government was elected in this City with a mandate for change. That change has been made and it's time for the political grand standing to cease and bipartisan support to commence," said Mr Murphy.

The Newcastle Alliance encourages the silent majority to have their say; write letters to the media, make a comment on the Government's Draft Urban Renewal Strategy and use social media platforms to show your support!

The Hunter NEEDS a healthy Newcastle.


Ahead of the official NSW Government announcement today, the Newcastle Alliance has applauded plans to FINALLY move forward on the urban renewal plan for inner-city Newcastle.

"While we are yet to hear the formal announcement from the NSW Government, we applaud the fact we finally have a decision and a plan to move forward. That is the most exciting part of today's announcement," said Alliance Chair Paul Murphy this morning.

"We are keen to hear the specifics today from Minister Hazzard but this is a momentous day for the City – it represents a new start for so many individuals and organisations. This is far more than just the "removal of the rail line", it's about an integrated transport strategy and a plan to fix our city and get it moving once again.”

“This is the culmination of many years of hard work from a number of Novocastrians to “Fix Our City”. It would appear our message has been heard at last in Macquarie Street and we applaud the move.”

“Once we hear the specifics today, we hope to see action sooner rather than later. Businesses and the City need it to start happening now, not in three to five years. Inner-city Newcastle needs this shot in the arm desperately and the Newcastle Alliance thank the NSW Government for finally providing a plan to move us forward, ” said Mr Murphy.

“There is still a long way to go yet, but finally we have a decision and a financial commitment from the NSW Government.” 

To read more on the plan go to or

Click here to view the Draft Newcastle Urban Renewal Strategy.

Business Calls on Council to Postpone Show Holiday Decision

The Hunter Business Chamber has called on Newcastle City Council to postpone a resolution regarding Newcastle Show Holiday at tonight’s Council Meeting.

“The impact of declaring Newcastle Show Day a local public holiday will be very significant for small to medium enterprise and they deserve the opportunity to be heard on this matter,” Chamber CEO, Kristen Keegan said.

“The decision will come with significant financial impost for business and casual employees in an environment where the market is currently facing above State and National average unemployment figures.

“Gazetting this day as a Public Holiday will only serve to put greater economic strain and burden on enterprises and potentially force unemployment figures higher.

“The Chamber represents 900 members from the largest employer to the small single person enterprise and our concern rests with the lack of engagement with those organisations who will be most affected,” she said.

“The Newcastle Alliance agrees with the position taken by the Chamber and encourages Newcastle Council to consult with the business community about this decision as it has huge ramifications,” Newcastle Alliance Chairman, Paul Murphy said.

For further information:

Hunter Business Chamber Kristen Keegan 0428 242891
Newcastle Alliance Paul Murphy 0418 498652
Newcastle Now Edward Duc 0414 660888

Tell us your thoughts! Contact us at @NewcAlliance



Read all about it from the Herald -

Read all about your new Newcastle City Council and make sure you tell the Herald what you think about the new council! Vote today!



With the finalisation of the new look Newcastle City Council yesterday, the Newcastle Alliance has elected to put aside its current review into legal action resulting from the introduction of, and increases to, paid parking meters in the CBD.

The Alliance will seek an urgent meeting with the new Lord Mayor, General Manager and Councillors to seek clarification on the parking strategy going forward. The current strategy is killing inner City businesses.

"The City has well and truly spoken. We want a Council who listens to what the people say. Some of our newly elected representatives promised everything from no paid parking in the inner City through to 5 days a week and even 2 hours free parking. We would like this issue sorted as soon as possible for the businesses that are in the City and being affected by this craziness here and now," said Alliance Chair Paul Murphy today.

"The most important thing going forward for Newcastle City Council is to remember to CONSULT with the business and general communities before they implement policies that not only affect people's livelihoods but also peoples leisure time. Prior to the election we heard from so many of the community the negative effect the weekend paid parking was having," said Mr Muphy.

"We are very much looking forward to working with the new council and other parties to get a practical outcome to the parking issue. We thank and encourage Tim Crakanthorp in asking for a stop to the spread of meters into the Junction and Hamilton. This is a city wide issue, and we need to be looking to assist the residents near Kotara before we push more shoppers out of the City."

"The Alliance meets for its monthly Board meeting on Wednesday, and I can assure you there are many people around that table expecting things to change and change dramatically," he said.

The Newcastle Alliance would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Lord Mayor, Councillor Jeff McCloy. His strong primary vote shows the people of Newcastle are entrusting him to implement change, ensure this Council is financially viable and continues to make the hard decisions it needs to make.

"The Alliance looks forward to seeing the recently elected Councillors working as a team in local Government and forgetting about party politics. This is more important than party alignments and it's time to get back to the core business of Council.

Now is the time for our newly elected councillors to unite and really get Newcastle moving again we are in their hands SO please don't let your City down!

The Alliance will certainly be watching



Following many overtures for assistance from local businesses, the Newcastle Alliance Board is looking in to legal avenues against Newcastle City Council regarding the implementation of the paid Parking System in the business locality which is adversely affecting business in the CBD.

"It appears business owners are being taxed twice with the CBD levy on owners and now people have to pay from minute one for most of the parking. This is as opposed to other areas of the Newcastle LGA where businesses have at least three hours before their customers are charged to park," said Alliance Board Member and Managing Partner at Bilbie Dan, Nicholas Dan.

"Newcastle City Council has a massive issue with parking at Kotara. Why don't they take the meters from the CBD and put them at Kotara where they can make a real and improved difference to the lives of so many rate payers," said Mr Dan.

Newcastle Now has recently undertaken a survey of CBD business owners, the results of which would be no surprise to anyone.

The independent report by the Callaghan Institute identified:

·71% of respondents said the recent changes have had a negative impact on their business turnover;

·77% said the changes have had a negative impact on staff and volunteers;

·80% said the changes have had a negative impact on their customers; and

·92% said that paid parking should be a high priority with the new Council.


"We are well and truly hearing from the 80% who believe the increased number of meters and the cost of parking has had a negative impact on their businesses. The Alliance is being contacted regularly by people who were already finding business tough enough, but now have to deal with raised costs for their customers to visit their business. Other businesses are seeing paid parking for the first time and feeling the massive effects on their business," said Mr Dan.

"What kind of consultation was undertaken by our current Council? Do people out there know that Council plan to increase parking again in 2013/2014 to $5 an hour and again in 2014/2015 to $6. The Alliance is concerned that there will be no one left in business in the CBD if this continues."

The Newcastle Alliance will be reviewing its legal options over the coming week and hopes to speak with the newly elected Council and Lord Mayor immediately following the Election.

"It's time for the CBD businesses to stand up and say enough is enough. We cannot be expected to be slugged again and just accept the damage to our businesses."

RELEASED: 5.09.12


The Newcastle Alliance has made a submission to IPART in relation to the Application for Special Rate Variation made under Section 508 by Newcastle City Council (NCC) for the 2012/13 rate determination.

The Newcastle Alliance has engaged at its own cost, an independent business and economic advisory consultancy, The Callaghan Institute (TCI), to review NCC’s proposed budget for the 2012/13 financial year, its long term planning, and its submission to IPART.

That Report highlighted a number of financial concerns with NCC’s long term planning, and its submission to IPART for a Special Rate Variation of 5%.

The Newcastle Alliance is strongly opposed to IPART granting a special rate variation to NCC. We strongly believe that NCC has fallen down in a number of basic financial fundamentals and that the Newcastle ratepayers should not be burdened with an attempted quick and easy fix for their long term financial problems.

To read the full details of the Newcastle Alliance's Submission - Newcastle Allliance IPART Submission 2012

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