18.6 C
Byron Shire
December 6, 2021

Eltham on track to save historic railway cottage

Latest News

Cadwallader, Lyon and Krieg most likely new Far North Coast mayors

With most of the votes cast, and counting over until tomorrow, the New South Wales Electoral Commission stats would suggest that there are three clear winners of the mayoral contests in Ballina, Byron and Lismore Shires.

Other News

Fatal crash – Alstonville

A man has died following a crash in Alsonville yesterday.

Corruption and waste

For many years the corrupt behaviour of our State politicians has been front and centre at the ICAC. Eddie...

Grumpy Grandma’s 

There are few in the region who aren’t familiar with Grumpy Grandma’s olives. Tim Stone and his wife Lynne...

Editorial – More Byron Shire council candidate Q&A!

Where do candidates stand on disused railways and pay parking? Are they to the left of Chairman Mao Zedong, or the right of Genghis Khan?

Evidence-based claims on Dunoon Dam

Why is it that all I hear from the pro-dammers is: ‘Save Our Dam’, ‘Build the dam’ or some...

Lismore Councillor candidate bios – Group E: Our Sustainable Future

The Echo asked all the Lismore Councillor candidates to send in a bio. Led by current Councillor Elly Bird, the Our Sustainable Future team is Group E.

The Eltham Railway Cottage  looks set to be handed over to the community. (File pic)
The Eltham Railway Cottage looks set to be handed over to the community. (File pic)

Darren Coyne

The former Eltham Railway Cottage, slated for destruction in 2006, looks set to be handed back to the community.

The Lismore City Council has agreed to negotiate a lease with Transport NSW with a view to sub-lease the cottage to the Eltham Community Foundation Inc.

The Foundation is hoping the cottage will play ‘a substantial role’ as part of an historic precinct if the proposed rail trail goes ahead.

The cottage is in close proximity to other historic landmarks including the Eltham Gallery, Eltham Friendly Inn, Masonic Hall, tennis courts and other historic built elements, and forms part of the streetscape.

Foundation spokesman John Maxwell told councillors recently that the fight to save the cottage had been ‘a long and frustrating journey’ but ‘we’re pleased to endorse the recommendation.

Mr Maxwell said that while site contamination was a serious issue, the Foundation was confident it could be resolved.

Mr Maxwell was referring to an environmental assessment conducted by State Rail in 2005 which found the site highly contaminated and unsuitable for public access.

The contamination assessment detected elevated concentrations of arsenic, lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

‘The Eltham community foundation has retained Land, Fire and Assessments to prepare a full site report upon which we will act,’ Mr Maxwell said.

The battle to save the cottage has involved a community survey undertaken by the Foundation in 2009.

That survey found that members of the community wanted the cottage to be used as a combined archive/museum, visitor centre and community centre.

Mr Maxwell said that while there was a certain lack of clarity as to what use would be made of the restored building, ‘hopefully if the rail trail goes through the cottage will play a substantial role’.

When it came time to vote on a recommendation to lease and then sub-lease the cottage to the Foundation (which would pay for remediation of the site), councillors agreed unanimously to support the proposal.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Growing number of dogs

Thanks to Alison Drover for her informative article in last week’s Echo regarding the growing number of dogs in the Shire to be managed...

Responsible dog owner

I read with interest Alison Drover’s article on dog management and the follow up letters last week, and I couldn’t agree more. I am indifferent...

Dogs need control

I agree with Alison Drover’s recent article and her final line ‘wildlife needs more love, and our dog owners need a tighter lead’. But the...

COVID update December 3: One new case and advice for international travellers

One new case of COVID-19 was reported for Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) in the 24 hours to 8pm 2 December. Northern NSW Local...