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Byron Shire
October 22, 2021

Rail corridors ‘up for grabs’ with new bill

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 The Baird government is trying to bypass parliament and give itself discretionary power to shut down rail lines across the state with a new bill before parliament.

A report in today’s Sydney Morning Herald has been seized on by the NSW Greens who say the government is trying to remove the ability of parliament to scrutinise the shutting down of rail lines, and give itself the discretionary power to make these decisions.

Greens NSW MP and transport spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi said ‘they might claim that the current rules are “archaic” and foster “legal uncertainty”, but the law is there for a good reason: to provide a basic check-and-balance on the government’.

‘There are really concerning implications here for potential unwanted development on rail corridors and encroachment on public land,’ Dr Faruqi said.

‘We saw last year in Newcastle, after a long fight, the government couldn’t wait to rip up the Newcastle rail line despite the lack of a clear transport plan for its replacement, and this bill would simply make it much easier for them to do things like that.

‘Rail infrastructure and rail corridors are protected under the current legislation because we know that these are invaluable and precious assets, and they must not be touched without the full authorisation of the elected parliament.

‘The Upper House numbers were very tight last year on the Newcastle rail closure bill, so the government will face a tough fight this time around. The Greens will be working hard to defeat it,’ she said.

 


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Our rail line can never be replaced. Short sighted Governments have screwed us by not implementing a commuter rail service in the Northern Rivers and based planning (zoning and density) decisions based on residents ability to move around the region on public transport.

    the Northern Rivers population is predicted to increase by more than 30% over the next 20 years or so. One can only assume that tourism/visitors to our region will also increase.

    when the corridor is sold and the roads blocked with cars it will be too late.

  2. We elect governments to manage our state. If we are not happy with the job they are doing we vote them out. Simple process. The greens, who will never form government, should let the elected government get on with its job.

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