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Byron Shire
March 3, 2021

Light rail not rail trail

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Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Dear Brittany

We watched you. We watched you break the silence. We heard the truth shatter like a glass hitting the tiles.

I present the desperate need for light rail transport.

‘Rail trail tender awarded to a global engineering consultant corporation Arup.’ What cost?

People have been calling for safe, decent, enjoyable transport for everyday and tourist use. A basic right has been denied, even though promises were made many times by Labor and the coalition.

Rail Trails Australia vice-president Steven Kaye has said the rail corridor from Casino to Murwillumbah is an unbelievable opportunity. Chairman Pat Grier of Northern Rivers Rail Trail Inc said converting the rail corridor to a walking and cycling (horse riding too) track will benefit communities throughout the northern rivers.

How can Rail Trails Australia say this track will benefit the whole community? The whole community? Definitely not.

Why were old reports of 2002–2003 (which the rail trail group quote) used for the study of the legislated rail corridor, even with acknowledgement of increased population?

My parents and others from Sydney were told they could not get on and off the train at Mullumbimby so this gave false figures. I have spoken to many passengers swapping from those buses (on or off) at Casino. They hated the long bus trip over that terrible road and buses even travel to Brisbane!

How can a bike/horse/walking track give transport to the majority of people, giving personal independence? People don’t care about the world rail trails and how popular they are. That does not help people here to be independent to hop on a train, when they like, where they like, for whatever reason their need of transport. Can everyone ride bikes to do shopping, travel for a day out to/from Lismore, Murwillumbah, Mullumbimby, Byron Bay, Brunswick Heads, other beaches and all the villages along the way? Of course not!

Why can’t we have a rail trail and light rail transport? NRRT know they have to change legislation to change to a trail. Once the walking track is in, that’s it – no trains! What about all the poisons sprayed on it for years too?

The pioneers slaved without modern machinery to build our rail corridor.

Governments have the responsibility to provide safe, enjoyable, convenient transport – not more buses, which was said in that 2013 rail study.

Jillian Spring, Billinudgel

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