19.1 C
Byron Shire
May 11, 2021

Rail study asked wrong questions

Latest News

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning May 12

Check out what's on going the Byron Shire and surrounding area this week

Other News

Government fails to support dying at home in Northern Rivers

Approaching the subject of dying is always tricky, often awkward, and never easy. But when you are faced with caring for someone at the end of their life, it helps if you can find support from people who have already navigated the path.

Editorial: The beef about meat

Firstly, let me declare an interest: I have been a vegetarian for 49 years, so tasty cow parts are not high on my agenda.

Why do we destroy what we love?

Nan Nicholson, The Channon I have been an environmental activist for over 50 years (I started when I was a...

Board defends its management of Mullum Rural Co-op

The issue of potential fraud and financial mismanagement was a key part of the response from Mullumbimby Rural Co-op...

What’s your opinion on the COVID vax?

Even though the Federal government refuses to take responsibility for the slow rollout of COIVID vaccines across the country you can still have your say on its rollout locally.

‘Natural’ cruelty

Richard Swinton, Clunes While I agree with Desmond Bellamy’s concerns about animal cruelty, the issue of ‘natural’ cruelty if the...

Louise Doran, Ocean Shores

The rail study into the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line recently released by the O’Farrell government raises some very important questions, and the community deserves answers.

Why does the ‘study’ not mention the transport needs of the population of almost 8,000 people north of the Brunswick River, who have little access to public transport, but are close to the Billinudgel train station?  Or the 1.5 million tourists?

Why does the ‘study’ give costings for a heavy rail service when the North Coast community has been asking for, and promised, a light commuter service on the line for almost a decade?

Does the state government really expect us to believe the cost to repair the Casino to Murwillumbah line for a commuter service (50 per cent of which is in reasonable condition despite criminal lack of maintenance) has increased from $30m in 2004 to over $900m, which is more than the $1.1 billion it cost to build the completely new, 155 kms of heavy freight line between Sydney and Newcastle?

Queensland has a population almost half that of NSW, so how are they able to electrify their main line all the way to Rockhampton, rebuild the Brisbane to Gold Coast line, (which they ripped up in the 1960s) and build a new light rail service (with $365m of federal government money) from Surfers to Coolangatta, but NSW politicians can’t get trains running on the line we have?  Why haven’t they been able to get the $150m of federal funding promised in 2004 for this much-needed service?

Why does the ‘study’ recommend major roads be upgraded to try and alleviate traffic congestion (no costings given – but experts claim it will cost billions) rather than recommending a few million be spent on a commuter train service?

Why are small towns in the Hunter Valley, similar distances from Sydney as we are from Brisbane, serviced by regular commuter train services to the city, but the North Coast isn’t connected to our closest city?

Why does the ‘study’ not mention the rising cost of oil and petrol?  Or even hint that we should be planning for a world where oil is a rare commodity and too expensive to put in our cars?

Rather than increasing traffic congestion on our terrible roads and discriminating against a large section of the Northern Rivers community who are unable to drive or use dirty, diesel guzzling, uncomfortable buses, the state government should stop wasting our money on useless ‘studies’ and give us the (accessible to all) commuter train  service they’ve been promising for almost a decade.  And start planning the 22 kms of line needed to connect us to the Queensland line at Coolangatta.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Father and son win first sailing race

Sixteen boats competed in the Tweed Valley Sailing Club’s race day earlier this month in a 10-12 knot breeze that suited the newcomers to...

Oceans 15 triumphant return

The Ocean Shores Aquatics team have returned home with some great results after a month-long stint at various State School Swimming competitions. ‘They have all...

Interview with Bob Vegas

The glorious Bob Downe is back with a brand new show: Viva Bob Vegas! at the Brunswick Picture House. He gave Seven the Downe low…

Interview with Cyprien Clerc, Founder and managing Director of Futureseeds

Founder and Managing Director at FutureSeeds, Cyprien Clerc, talks to The Echo about this upcoming event.