When a rail service is restored to Byron Shire and beyond, the railway line will not be built along the previous rail corridor, for obvious reasons: only the financially irresponsible would spend millions of taxpayer dollars restoring a railway line that runs so close to the ocean (mere metres near First Sun Caravan Park) in low-lying swamplands that are destined to be claimed by the ocean.
The new railway line will be located in a more practical location, further inland. Assuming the base hospital is built at Ewingsdale, the station servicing Byron Bay will be located to service the hospital, with bus connection to Byron Bay.
The rail corridor has not been ‘in public hands’ (Marie Lawton – letter to the editor, 22 July) for many years.
The rail corridor and land associated with the railway station is legally publicly owned land, ‘ownership’ is claimed by the corporation known as the state of New South Wales trading as the Department of Roads and Maritime Services, t/as Transport for New South Wales, t/as Transport Railcorp (known as Railcorp), sub-branch Countrylink Rail Authority, sub-sub branch Country Rail Infrastructure Authority (CRIA).
However, our public servants have deemed appropriate to tender their taxpayer funded responsibilities to private enterprise, John Holland Rail Pty Ltd.
The rail corridor, railway station refreshment building and surrounding land (the car park) have been in the ‘hands’ of private enterprise, John Holland Rail Pty Ltd, for many years; and [I believe that] the ‘Property Facilities Management’ of John Holland Pty Ltd has leased that publicly owned land intended to be used by the public [now used as the Railway Friendly Bar].
The good news being, Byron Shire Council does have a legal claim to the disused publicly owned land previously used as a rail corridor; and to the railway refreshment building and car park; with legal argument that the publicly owned [portion] should be used for transport related public use.
The car park area should have an inter-city bus terminal (Countrylink, Greyhound etc); with the railway refreshment building returned to providing non-alcoholic refreshments to the public (including bus customers, tourists).
The new inter-city bus terminal should include a new amenities block, including pay hot showers.
The rail corridor could be turned into a treed bike and pedestrian trail (separating bikes and pedestrians please) with seats, bins and bubblers every kilometre.
Just a suggestion, but a more realistic one than dreaming that the sate government will build a new railway line in the old rail corridor.
Pagan Morgan (Ms), Byron Bay