After 14 years of campaigning by thousands of north coast residents, and all the information, studies and inquiries recommending a commuter train service be introduced on the Casino to Murwillumbah (C-M) rail line, a few local cycling enthusiasts, who want the line destroyed for a cycleway, continue to spread inaccurate rubbish.
Meanwhile, the northern rivers community has done the research and know full well that a train service on the C-M line is the most cost effective way of reducing traffic gridlock, and providing safe, sustainable, low emissions transport for locals, most of whom live in eight out of ten major, fast growing, population centers situated along the line, and 4.6 million tourists who visit the region every year.
This is precisely what was recommended in the Price Waterhouse Coopers study in 2004 and the 2004 NSW Legislative Council inquiry.
Informed, intelligent people know that our rail system has been neglected for decades as politicians/governments are captives of the fossil fool industry, who donate millions to politicians’ election campaigns.
Consequently this industry of the dinosaurs is protected, while every year we have record temperatures and the community is denied the infrastructure needed to reduce our carbon emissions and preserve our quality of life.
Politicians should be made to wear t-shirts covered with the logos of these corporations then the public would understand why our taxes are being wasted on expensive, unsustainable road projects while rail is neglected.
A few muscle-bound cyclists have constantly claimed that the C-M corridor is too windy and not suitable for commuter trains as they would not be able to travel at speed.
Now they claim that any proposed Fast Train would have used the corridor through ‘Lismore, Mullumbimby to the Gold Coast’! They can’t even be consistent, let alone accurate!.
Then, in the very same letter, Tweed Shire Councils’ Transport Strategy Document is quoted, which says ‘(a train system) will most likely follow the Pacific Highway corridor’.
What on earth does that mean? The community has never called for, and no government has ever claimed they would build any rail line down the Pacific Highway corridor, and certainly no studies, costings or ‘short list’ have been produced.
Apart from anything else the cost and disruption to speeding traffic would be prohibitive. Trains along the Pacific Highway is nothing more than another myth being spread by the cycling lobby, who have zero credibility.
It’s complete nonsense to suggest people would prefer to battle the traffic and drive kilometers to a train station on the highway rather than walk, cycle or catch a bus to the train station in the center of town and be able to walk to all amenities at their destination. This is how it works in other regional centers, such as the Central Coast.
The truth is, over decades of discussions about a possible Fast Train service-no actual plan or costings have been done-the only stopping place ever mentioned for the north coast is Casino. In which case the C-M line is ideally placed to connect north coast locals and tourists to any future Fast Train service.
Local politicians know a train service is needed on the C-M line, and promised to provide one for almost a decade.
They also understand if they try and destroy this valuable line all hell will break loose.
Instead of being slaves to the fossil fool industry, politicians need to start looking after the environment and the needs of the people they’re supposed represent (who also pay their very generous wages and superannuation) and get the trains running on C-M rail line.
Louise Doran, Ocean Shores