Dave Norris, Pottsville.
The reintroduction of trains into an integrated public transport network, as proposed by Greens state candidate for Tweed Bill Fenelon, will provide better public transport access across the whole region, not just the coast. Better access between the Tweed, the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers townships will deliver enormous economic and social benefits for Tweed.
There is no reason to cut coastal bus services, only to enhance them. The Greens are not suggesting that coastal commuters travel from Pottsville to Mooball to catch a train/bus via Murwillumbah to Tweed Heads. Greens policy includes buses, trains and cycleways and focuses on timely efficient affordable public transport.
Connecting with a train at Mooball to or from Murwillumbah, Byron or the Sydney/Casino rail service would be a great alternative. Currently the bus trip from Pottsville to Murwillumbah or Byron Bay goes through Tweed and takes about two and a half hours, and to Casino takes two hours.
Rail is one of the safest, most environmentally friendly, least carbon intensive form of transport. Just recently a bus accident west of Byron Bay resulted in a woman being critically injured and 12 others taken to hospital. Far more people die on our roads than on trains. Trains will help free up congestion on our roads.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has reported that we must reach zero carbon emissions within thirty one years to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C. This means that reliance on rail transport is inevitable.
If we rip up our train tracks, the government will sell off the rail corridor for peanuts and then buy it or an another corridor back for megabucks at taxpayers’ expense. Please read the book ‘Game of Mates’ by Cameron K Murray and Paul Frijters to get an insight into how favours bleed the nation.