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Byron Shire
April 15, 2021

Rail trail funding no substitute for reinstatement of line

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The recent announcement for $50 million rail trail funding shows that the Liberal/National Government is determined to push ahead with its plan to erase their failed promises of reinstating the Casino to Murwillumbah line by ripping up the line itself.

The Greens consider rail trails on a case by case basis and it is very clear that on the Casino to Murwillumbah line, the overwhelming desire and need of the people is to reinstate that line as a rail service.

The $50 million would be better used kickstarting a service between Casino and Lismore. The 2014-2015 state budget did not have a single cent to build public transport in the northern rivers but somehow tens of millions of dollars have appeared to destroy it.

In order to begin ripping up transport infrastructure in the northern rivers, the government will require an act of parliament.

The Greens position is that the Casino to Murwillumbah line should be reinstated, with a rail trail beside it if feasible, and thus we will be opposing any legislation should it come up.

It is disingenuous of the government to say that ripping up a rail track won’t jeopardise its use as a rail line in the future.

Once tens of millions has been invested in a rail trail and all the tracks have been ripped up, it will make it much more expensive to return rail services.

Rail trails can be great for recreation and tourism purposes in some circumstances, but not at the expense of essential regional public transport services. For more information visit  http://www.trade.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/65757/EOI_Rail_Trails.pdf

Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, Greens NSW


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  1. Thank heavens one capable politician (who is also a civil engineer) has done the research and listened to the needs of the community.

  2. Mehreen I would suggest the Greens party buy the 18,000 racehorses that are sent to knackerys each year. These horses would make a speedy public transport system on the winding,slow old railway corridor that was designed and built in the 1890s. The Greens would save the lives of these wonderful animals ,cut down on CO2 emissions and give a much faster average speed on the snaking goat track .
    I find it strange that the Greens (that I voted for) keep spruiking about viable public transport when all they will be giving us is a VST (very slow train) that doesn’t follow the population growth corridor and will actually allow our beautiful valleys to be filled with huge housing subdivisions like has happened from Varsity Lakes to Brisbane.
    Come on Mehreen ,you must realize that a train system must be better and faster than the existing road network to get people out of cars. It must be a minimum 100km/hr and upgradeable to 160km/hr and also a dual line network. Are the Greens trying to take us back to the 1800s? We need to look 100 years ahead.
    The Greens lost 500,000 voters in the last federal election and I can see more people disenfranchised with their head in sand policies.I for one won’t be wasting my vote on the Greens this time.

  3. Merheen. How about trying to get us a good bus service. The corridor is dead for trains. Embrace the rail trail. Nothing could be greener.

    • “Nothing could be greener”. I would call it “nothing could be greedier”. Soon we can advertise Byron Bay as not only the most easterly point in Australia, but also part of the most expensive cycle way in the world, with the worlds worst cycling infrastructure otherwise. And by the way stuff the rest, who don’t need to be “connected” via rail trail. Airport sponsored Destination Byron is loughing all the way to the bank. Gullible foot soldiers have done the dirty work for some larger interests. “I’ts dead, it’s dead” just repeat it often enough, it’s spin doctors 101. Nevertheless, ‘it’s not dead, until the fat lady sings”.

  4. Thank you Mehreen for your continued support for improved public transport for our region. This must have priority over any rail trail option – particularly one that involves ripping up rail tracks in order for it to proceed. Rail will eventually return to our region, and I for one will relish it.

  5. Thank you Mehreen for talking some sense! The rail trail is a greedy waste of money, the community don’t want it, the community don’t need it!


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