By PENELOPE GREEN
Sept. 27, 2013, 11:10 a.m.
A SCOPING study commissioned by the State Government to assess its plans for the long-term lease of the Port of Newcastle is on track and will be delivered in November.
In Newcastle on Friday morning, Treasurer Mike Baird said if approved by Cabinet, the transaction could receive the greenlight before next year’s State Budget.
The government is seeking to lease the port for 99 years and use $340 million off the $700 million it expects to earn to build light rail between Wickham and Newcastle.
Mr Baird has announced the formation of a community liaison group that will get the chance to have its say on the State Government’s plans to secure a long-term lease of the port of Newcastle.
It will comprise Newcastle MP Tim Owen, key port users and tenants, and local business and industry groups, and be kept abreast of the scoping study that the government has commissioned on the proposed port leasing.
‘‘The government is aware that the people of Newcastle are keen to hear how the transaction – if successful – will enable what will effectively be the re-invention of our second largest city,’’ he said.