The trail without rail (TWR) proponents are once again imagining that we live in some declining rural backwater without traffic problems. The reality is we live in what will be the busiest transport corridor in the country within the next few years.
Neil Mckenzie claims we have no significant commuter movements. The corridor between the coast and Casino is already the busiest east west corridor between the Hunter Valley and Queensland border.
Seems that ‘commuter’ also ignores the 4.6 million tourist visitors in our region who contribute to the increasing traffic gridlock in the region’s coastal towns.
We do not, as TWR boosters imagine, exist in isolation from southeast Queensland, where most of the tourists come from.
Traffic counts taken in 2004 show that there were 42,724 vehicle movements a day at the Queensland border. The Sydney-Brisbane Corridor Strategy (2007) has projected that this will rise to 151,000 a day by 2026.
It is worth remembering that Queensland has an operational rail line in the corridor to reduce the number of cars. We do not.
TWR executive Marie Lawton rather optimistically hopes that the lack of toilets ‘won’t be a huge issue’ and simply ignores many of the other costs not included in the proposal.
Most TWRs do end up costing councils every year in infrastructure support and maintenance.
The biggest worry for ratepayers must be the inadequate estimate of $75 million compared to the $50 million of potential funding from the NSW government.
Despite the TWR publicity, this is not guaranteed as the TWR group must prove their business case. Clearly they are falling well short of that at the moment.
Cr Basil Cameron, Goonengerry