We at TOOT have always felt that getting trains back on our tracks made practical sense so we have kept up the energy. Especially a frequent light rail service, not the older, big, heavy rail trains that had much higher engineering requirements for bridges and tracks.
The service can link up with the main Sydney–Brisbane line at Casino and also with SE Queensland trains at Coolangatta airport, possibly by 2018 for the Commonwealth Games.
Most people support TOOT strongly and to these folks – and also the sceptics who felt it was a lost cause – we would like to let you know that for the first time in eight years since the service was stopped by the discredited old myopic Labor government there really is light at the end of the tunnel. The $2 million study by the current NSW government is underway. The most hopeful aspect of the study is that the government, via Don Page our local member for the state seat of Ballina and NSW minister for the north coast, agreed to TOOT’s request to include a cost-benefit analysis – to factor in benefits to savings on road accidents, road repairs, greenhouse gases and traffic congestion just to name some, as well as the benefits to our ‘bursting at-the-seams’ tourism by moving locals and tourists through our magnificent, world-class and world-heritage scenery by rail.
It’s a travesty to see all the new road works at Sextons Hill, Banora Point without any provision of even a corridor for rail in the future. Our local federal member Justine Elliot, whose frequent newspaper ads spruik her largesse to the community, has basically misled us all. At her maiden speech to parliament she highlighted trains as a core issue of the community but she has conspicuously neglected this issue. She is a K Rudd acolyte, so maybe doesn’t have much influence with Gillard, but methinks she really doesn’t care. Justine appears to be a non-conviction politician. She basically believes in having a job paid for by taxpayers… that’s about it .
So please share any enthusiasm you may have with your friends and networks and let them know that trains may soon be on the tracks – after essential repairs and weeding!
vice-president TOOT [Trains on our Tracks] campaign of the Northern Rivers Trains for the Future group.