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Byron Shire
October 23, 2021

Railway bridges ‘about to be demolished’

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Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi has written to NSW transport minister, and likely deputy premier, Gladys Berejiklian, this week querying the government’s plans for the Casino to Murwillumbah railway line.

The letter raises public concerns that three bridges along the line may be about to be demolished for safety reasons.

One of the bridges, at Terania Street, North Lismore, is heritage listed.

Ms Faruqi is concerned that once the bridges are demolished they will never be replaced, leading to the incapacity of the line to ever be used again for rail services and making a cycle path more difficult.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ms Faruqi has yet to receive a reply from the minister.

‘The information I have received is that the bridges at Terania Street, Binna Burra and Woodlawn have been scheduled for removal in the next six months due to public safety concerns with no plan to replace or restore these bridges,’ the letter reads.

‘If removed and not replaced this would constitute a significant loss of public transport infrastructure and make it much more difficult and expensive to reinstate the Casino-Murwillumbah line, as has been promised repeatedly to the community by local members of parliament.’

Ms Faruqi requested to know if the leaked plans were in fact true and whether there were any plans by the government to replace them with ‘rail-capable bridges’.

She also repeated her claim that the state government’s quoted cost of $900 million to bring the line back into service was ‘significantly higher than the cost of other refurbished and new lines that have been built around the country’.

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  1. Such costs are always exaggerated to justify demolition. The removal will cost as well and reduce amenity and future tourist possibilities. Short-sighted cost-cutting leads to extra expense eventually.

    Other states manage to renew and create infrastructure at a fraction of NSW costs

  2. I think Ms Faruqi should pay for a security fence (like on building sites) to be put around these dangerous and unstable structures if she is so concerned about their demolishion.Will it be her who is responsible for a death from falling timbers,I think not.If she wants to dabble in the affairs of the Northern Rivers then get funding for more buses that will better serve this area,dropping you closer to your intended destination or home.Buses have about the same end of life carbon output as trains.

    • However, with coalition politicians making obviously non-core promises to return the trains, surely it’s their responsibility to make the bridges safe and, indeed, repair them. Let’s not make this a party political shit fight. The region needs all manner of public transport.

  3. Hopefully they’ll be replaced with cycling footbridges….Just a measly fraction of that $900m would buy you a world class rail-trail enticing cyclo-tourists from all around the globe…

  4. Re the demolition of railway bridges. The Government responsibility is for a Duty of Care to their constituents! This they are in breach of, to their shame and a lot of voters are not happy about their backflip and know that so-called Rail Study was a claytons study. The reasons the Minister of Transport Gladys Berejiklian and other MPs gave [regarding the result of] that claytons rail study revealed how desperate they were to try and convince even themselves that their ‘spin’ was acceptable!

    Great fanfare on the 8th May 2014 by the Transport Minister and so all the Coalition, BILLIONS for SPECTACULAR NEW TRAINS that would give to train passengers from Sydney to Newcastle and the Blue Mountains LUXURIOUS COMFORT! BILLIONS!!!

    WE ON THE NORTHERN RIVERS?! MORE TERRIBLE, LONG LABOURIOUS BUSES AMID TRAFFIC GRIDLOCK! I do not like this other great fanfare announcement of a fast train from Lismore to the coast & almost along the coast! This DOES NOT MEET OUR EVERYDAY & TOURIST NEEDS! WHAT LAND THIS WOULD DESTROY!!! All the politicians need to go back to reading the story of “The Emperor and His New Clothes”! Get back to practical, everyday understanding of their constituents. Respect for politicians is at the lowest ebb now of which I continue to hear. A very quick reading of “The Emperor and His New Clothes” would be the action for politicians right now and for the sake of the few(?) fair dinkum ones so they are not ‘taken down’ with them. Jillian Spring, Billinudgel



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