I attended the TOOT meeting on July 17 at the Byron Community Centre. It was a complex meeting.
The convenor, Byron mayor Simon Richardson, a Greens councillor, spoke first. Talk focused on a private proposal to run a solar powered or diesel engine on the track from Bayshore Drive to the Byron town centre.
A pretty, coloured image was projected of an old diesel locomotive. He stated that the diesel train would be making two trips per hour. No further mention of solar. No mention of when the daily service might start and finish.
There was talk of the 45 tonnes it weighed and the delays which it would incur near the Butler Street crossing. The diesel is a 661 series built in 1971. It will be leased from and maintained by Lithgow State Mine Railway. Does this not raise eyebrows, a mining company?
Diesel locomotives are heavy polluters in the noise they make and they spew out many carcinogens, toxic contaminants and particulates (black soot).
I wrote to the resort asking how an eco resort could use a diesel but one week later have not received any reply.
As there were multimillion-dollar proposals made for use of the rail by several businessmen, I was surprised that neither local newspaper had a formal report on this important meeting.
Lee Cass, Byron Bay