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Byron Shire
May 19, 2022

Why remove rail corridor protection?

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Claims that the ‘rail corridor’ would be ‘secure in public ownership’ if a proposed rail trail development went ahead are complete nonsense.

The rail corridor is already secure in public ownership.

In fact the greatest threat to fragmentation and development of the corridor is from the proposed rail trail development.

Use and development within the corridor are the real issues.

Under the heading ‘preservation of the corridor only’ the Rail Trail Study at page 57 proposes the removal of ‘specific planning requirements’ for ‘future developments over or adjacent to the corridor’.

This removal of the ‘passive protection’ meant to ensure that trains could one day run again will ‘erode’ that possibility and ‘provide opportunities to encourage future investment and development’ according to the study. (page 57)

It doesn’t sound so ‘safe’ or ‘secure’ in ‘public ownership’ when you check the detail.

This is privatisation of valuable public infrastructure by stealth, with the added insult that the community will pay $75 million to make it happen.

Cr Basil Cameron, Byron Shire

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  1. As a politician representing constituents, Basil is saying its a train or nothing! A vote for Basil means a vote for no train and no rail trail.

    • take the money, if it benefits rail AND trail, don’t take it, if it means killing off rail. The rail trail project needs to accommodate rail by moving next to the line and keeping the tracks, where they are, to be used for local and regional light rail. The spoilers are those with a winner takes all attitude.

  2. People who have to resort to personal attacks obviously have no better arguments for spending $75m of taxpayer’s money to destroy a valuable piece of public infrastructure, our rail line.

    The money Eddie Obeid pinched would have restored the line and got a train service running. Perhaps they’re the people you should be attacking.

    With over 4.6m million tourists (equal to the population of Sydney) coming to the region each year we need it!

    Pity our local state politicians are useless when it comes to representing the needs of their constituents.

    • Eddie Obeid is gone, he was chucked out with the previous government. The current government has said NO to the train more emphatically than the old government ever did! You should be blaming the current government for its cynical pre-broken election promise to return the train. Its quite clear that anyone who believed the promise in the first place must have been gullible. After such a long time in the wilderness the coalition would have said just about anything to win the 2011 election, hence the red t shirt debacle. You’ll be able to express your disappointment at the 2015 ballot box, though it seems a bit far fetched that the Greens will come to power and ‘give us back our train’.

  3. Will I have no idea how you arrived at your conclusion (above). However the points that Basil Cameron makes in his letter are valid and I (like many others) would welcome the return of a light rail service.

  4. Basil, I love your sentiments. This is not going to be an easy one to win. Remember how Neville Wran rolled over after Terania Creek Direct Action? This time it is the Labour Party trying to curry favour with the Sydney lycra clad cafe latte sipping yuppies in order to make up for ground lost through ICAC damn and damnation. You see can why they are pushing this sort of thing. They are trying to give it the smell of health, fitness and motherhood. But the reality is that Sydney is a long way away from the Northern Rivers. What goes down well with the posturers riding up and down Manly Esplanade then ducking into the numerous coffee shops catering for their bulging wallets, is not the same as the transport needs of a badly neglected north east.

  5. So Victoria and New Zealand must not know what they are doing with providing rail trails?
    The United States,Germany,France and United Kingdom must also be crazy for having hundreds of rail trails?
    Or is it just NSW with its head in the sand and not understanding the major benefits of rail trails.
    Even Qeensland has a rail trails ,the Atherton Tablelands is building one right now.
    I cannot believe that you truly believe the old corridor will fix our public transport solution for the next 100 years and in the process burn up $1B.
    Build an extra 10,000 homes along the train corridor and yes it may be viable but do we want to fill our beautiful valleys with a sea of houses.
    Maybe it will look like Cumberland and West Ballina or like around Robina train station.
    Is somebody hanging with developers eyeing our green pastures with pictures of housing suburbs in their minds?
    We will have the best weed corridor in NSW as the Government won’t spend money putting a train on the corridor,dreaming is a good word that comes to mind.
    Get those buses that sit in the depots most of the day to good use.Check these depots out netween 10am and 1.30pm to see how many are under utilized and used mainly for school kids.

  6. Very well said Basil, I Agree!.
    Rail trails are nothing but privatisation by stealth. This region simply cannot support rail trails or more tourists, as we do not currently have the infrastructure, but trains will give us this infrastructure and more!. The fact is we need our trains, NOW!

  7. This is a non-argument. The trains won’t be funded in our life time. Why say no to funding that is possible for a trail that can be used by everyone (not just a few lycra clad cyclists). Why does anyone want to keep the corridor as a weed infested eyesore?

  8. If Don Page can find $75 million for bike trails then he can find it for track repair and we can get started on it. I sincerely hope Marie Lawton is proved wrong and our political leaders come to their senses and do what the greater community wants & needs. Trains, in our life time please.


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