I heard ex-Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell on the radio last week saying the Rail Trail would protect the corridor. Maybe Jenny has trusted someone who’s given her incorrect information.
The current rail trail proposal concerns ripping up the railway tracks to have a bike path so its necessary to pass an act of parliament closing the railway line. This is the only protection our rail corridor has. Rail trail legislation has to go through parliament for the rail line to be closed.
The land would then become Crown reserve and no longer protected as a rail corridor. If the funding was provided and the legislation goes through for the Murwillumbah Rail Trail proposal of 26 kms, the 130 km Casino to Murwillumbah rail corridor becomes crown land and therefore disposable. The government will be able to sell it off.
As Don Page said in the Northern Star 10/09/2016 Casino to M’bah rail corridor ‘sell off’ not so far fetched, “You can imagine the pressures the State Government will come under from developers, particularly in Byron Bay… that land is very valuable right in the centre of town”.
If there is no Rail Trail legislation and no reason to remove the railway tracks then the corridor is safe until we get a sensible government that cares about saving lives on our damaged, congested and unsafe roads.