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Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

Cycle path won’t help the sick and elderly

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When I first moved here I was a student with no car. I hitchhiked until I was nearly raped and then I couldn’t do it anymore.

Some time later I was a single mother with chronic post-natal depression and with no car I was stuck in misery. Since then I’ve worked in welfare for many years and seen the same difficulty and suffering especially for families escaping domestic violence.

I noticed that many Aboriginal women get less income because they can’t deal with the child support agency requirements so they get stuck at home suffering post-traumatic stress from DV.

Being able to catch a train to the beach for the day would be a wonderful thing for these families.

There are many very sick people who will never be able to get their healthcare needs met in Lismore. They go to Brisbane or the Gold Coast and they can’t drive. The buses take hours and are an exhausting experience for a sick person.

Many elderly people who can’t drive are stuck at home and social isolation is a constant element in research on illness and death.

The government wants to replace the train track with a bike path for people who can afford an expensive bike, are fit and healthy and like to ride long distances. Would this be as much as one per cent of the population?

I’m hoping that the little train from North Byron will stop the government ripping up our train tracks. I want to make this world a better place for all.

Beth Shelley, Booerie Creek


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  1. Well said, Beth. A bike path on the old train track serves no purpose at all. It would not be suitable for the bike leg of the Byron triathlon. It would not be suitable for weekend outings for families as the distances between towns are too great for young kids to ride and the distance between pubs is too great for the older kids. Yet the corridor is an ideal opportunity to run a local train service. The Bangalow to Lismore road regularly suffers from flood closure. The train line at Eltham s elevated and not affected by the floods. Students studying in Lismore and Woodlawn could get to Uni/school even on flood days. Our ancestors could build this line in the early part of last century. Why can’t we, with all our new technology gadgets just maintain it in working order?
    Lets bring back the trains.

  2. Nice try Harald but wrong on all points.

    The arguments for the rail trail have been made many times before and don’t need restating. Its a brilliant idea opposed only but those who are afraid of change and live in a nostalgic past. The train on that corridor is history. It’s about as likely as the return of sailing ships to Byron.

    Save your energy for more important and achievable issues such as CSG, climate change, public transport – the list goes on…..

    • Spot on Neil! And maybe we should bring whaling back to Byron as well as that was one of the main uses of the railway!


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