Despite so many polls and surveys showing the overwhelming majority of North Coast residents wanting train services on the Casino to Murwillumbah (C-M) train line and repairs to the line for trains costing little more than a bike track, our illustrious state and federal politicians see fit to waste $13 million of taxpayer’s dollars ripping up the extremely valuable train line to replace it with a bike track for a few cyclists.
This makes about as much sense as the NSW Minister for Transport spending so much of his time and taxpayers’ money on silly names for Sydney ferries. Not surprising the transport service is chaotic or non-existent.
The Southern Cross University survey in 2007 found 90 per cent of respondents would use a train service regularly if it was connected to Coolangatta.
The Northern Star newspaper poll found 70% per centof participants wanted trains on the C-M line.
The recent ABC radio on-line poll found 60 per cent of people want trains not a bike track. That’s before five million tourists are counted.
Tweed Shire council are currently surveying their residents on whether they wants trains or a bike track. This survey will most likely confirm all previous surveys or the politicians would have waited for the results before announcing funding to destroy the train line.
It cost $600,000 per kilometre to repair the Byron train line for a train service which is being used by almost 16,000 people per month, and people want the service extended.
Spending at least $541,000 per kilometre to rip up the valuable C-M train line, which goes through eight out of ten North Coast major population centers, for a bike track for a few cyclists is beyond crazy.
This makes no sense on any level, environmentally, socially or economically. Lack of train services means increasing traffic congestion is already impacting on tourism and the local economy, and as traffic congestion continues to increase so will the economic impact.
The C-M line is currently protected by legislation. Legislation to remove protection of the line is being presented to the NSW Parliament for the third time, it has been defeated twice before by strong community action.
People need to write to local Members of Parliament, the NSW Minister for Transport and the opposition Shadow Minister for Transport and tell them we why need train services for locals and five million tourists to the region.
Louise Doran, Ocean Shores