T4 opponents, Nobbyssupporters call for Labor vote

The state ALP conference has been asked to consider protecting the public ownership of Nobbys Headland by placing it in the hands of the National Parks and Wildlife Service. THE NSW Labor party has been urged to adopt a policy of opposing new Newcastle coal-loader developments – by some of its own Hunter branches.
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Protecting the public ownership of Nobbys Headland by placing it in the hands of the National Parks and Wildlife Service and easing parking pressures for family members visiting hospital patients are among those motions also submitted for the party’s annual state conference to consider.

It will be held in Sydney at the weekend, is expected to be attended by up to 880 delegates and will hear from federal Labor leader Bill Shorten, state leader John Robertson and former premier Bob Carr.

The Newcastle federal electorate council and the Stockton branch have both urged the conference, which is the party’s binding policy maker, to object “to the construction of a fourth coal-loader [T4] on Kooragang Island”.

The party’s policy committee has recommended only that the conference note the motions.

It suggests giving in-principle support to the Mayfield branch’s motion that the conference oppose the building of a coal-loader and rail line at the former steelworks site at Mayfield, due to the increased environmental impact on Mayfield East.

The Newcastle federal electorate council has also sought the amendment of rules to allow for a rank-and-file ballot of members to select the parliamentary leader, currently Mr Robertson, from among Labor MPs.

However, the conference is expected to endorse a new process of a 50-50 vote of rank-and-file and the state parliamentary party to elect the leader, beginning after the next state election in March.

Newcastle state candidate Tim Crakanthorp said other motions from city branches opposed to TAFE funding cuts recognised the importance of vocational education to the region.