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’.