13 C
Byron Shire
July 14, 2024

Climate and rail

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In the rail versus trail debate many people want a commuter train service but the Liberal government wants to rip up the train track for a bike path. An issue important to this debate is climate change and the carbon emissions produced by roads as compared to rail.

The Deloitte Access Economics Report of 2011 states that ‘Australia is now the most intensive user of road freight in the world and has the least energy-efficient road passenger transport among members of the International Energy Association (DFAT 2008 and prime minister’s task group on energy efficiency 2010).’

A national government report in 2014, ‘The bottom line on energy efficiency,’ says, ‘Rail freight emits 75 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions per tonne of freight moved compared to the road freight transport sector.’

A rock wall is being built to save houses at Belongil, storms of fierce intensity are increasing and climate change is staring us in the face. How can we ignore the need to cut carbon emissions by investing in an efficient and effective railway?

Many people in the northern rivers want to save the earth from climate change and want decent public transport. Our community needs to lobby governments at all levels to save the train.

Check out the Facebook page of the Northern Rivers Railway Action Group Inc to help. We need to tell the government that we want trains back on the Casino to Murwillumbah Railway and we don’t want climate change.

Beth Shelley, Northern Rivers Railway Action Group, Booerie Creek

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  1. Beth:

    Agreed – climate change is the greatest issue of our age (and any other age) and we should all cooperate to reduce our carbon emissions.
    Agreed – where possible freight should be transported by rail to reduce emissions and improve road safety.
    Agreed – we all need better public transport when the population density makes it a viable option.
    Agreed – rock walls at Belongil to protect a few million dollar houses is a very silly idea

    However – the disused rail corridor by any measure should be converted to a rail/walking trail as it not a viable rail corridor in this century. Every study supports this proposal and the state government has agreed to fund it.

    Beth, its time to move on to concentrate on the other issues you raise.

  2. Beth,

    You are correct in what you say about the reality of climate change, the need to reduce carbon emissions, the advantages of transporting freight by rail, the folly of building rock walls to keep the ocean out of private properties and the importance of public transport.

    However none of these having anything to do with converting a disused 19C rail corridor into a walking/cycleway, which is a brilliant idea and would help to lower carbon emissions as well as providing economic benefits to the region, and improving health and well-being of the community in general.

    Rock walls, public transport, rail freight etc are separate issues which certainly need to be addressed.


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