The promise of potential funding and the big media hype surrounding it at the time was clearly a measured push for National votes in the northern rivers pre-election. Only NRRT couldn’t see this.
I think back to that massive photo in the Northern Star of everyone jumping for joy over the coming funding and I just shake my head at the naivete in believing anything a politician promises when an election is looming. The cheque was never in the mail – it was just a pure and simple stunt to try and garner votes.
Post election the northern rivers rail trail funding has gone the same way as Thomas George’s promises to rip up CSG licences – into thin air. The government has lost interest in the project and moved on, having forked out $5 million of the so-called $50 million to Tumbarumba, where the proposal was pretty much a no-brainer, with widespread community support.
NRRT can have all the meetings it wants with the government over this now to try and ‘get things back on track’, but the message is clear. The rail trail in its proposed form is done and dusted. It’s time now for the community to come together and start lobbying for a multi-modal use track, featuring light rail as the centrepiece.
It’s the only fair and equitable long-term solution, and what our diverse northern rivers community deserves.
You can still have your bike track, but not at the expense of other people’s extremely valid needs.