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Byron Shire
August 6, 2021

Pro rail trail association urges Council to award construction tender

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The Northern Rivers Rail Trail Association wants things to move forward. Photo supplied.

Representatives from the Northern Rivers Rail Trail Association are urging Tweed Shire Council to award the construction tender for the Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek section of the corridor at this week’s Council meeting, saying a predominately on-formation trail was the most viable option.

Councillors will vote this Thursday on a recommendation by the infrastructure delivery team to award the construction tender for the 24 kilometre stretch of cycle and walking path, the first in what is ultimately proposed to be a 130-kilometre rail trail from Murwillumbah to Casino.

Northern Rivers Rail Trail Association vice president Cameron Arnold said Tweed Shire had already secured State and Federal Government funding for the project, which would provide a significant economic boost to the area and a safe and active corridor for residents to enjoy.

A map of the proposed rail trail. Image supplied.

‘Tweed Shire already has full funding for the rail trail, so all we need is for Councillors to vote to award the construction tender this week and we are off and running.

‘The State and Federal Governments awarded these grants to Tweed Shire to plan and execute the rail trail on-formation. If Council decides at the eleventh hour not to proceed, they may have to repay the money, of which around $1 million has already been spent.

‘Council has done its due diligence investigating both an on- and off-formation trail by asking the construction companies to tender for the option they felt was most appropriate. All four came back with only 20 per cent off-formation, which speaks volumes.

‘We urge Council not to delay further and vote to proceed with the predominately on-formation proposal that has been presented as the most viable option.’

Mr Arnold said proceeding with an on-formation rail trail would not preclude trains coming back in future and, would in fact, preserve the corridor for future generations.

‘The railway line is already being dismantled in some sections, with eight bridges removed and four parcels of land sold-off. If we do not protect the corridor now by building the rail trail, we may lose it altogether.

He said that in the current climate, the Northern Rivers Rail Trail Association do not believe a train or light rail would be an economically viable option for the State Government. The rail trail is, so we encourage the community to get behind it. ‘We formed our Association with the purpose of seeing this corridor preserved as a public asset the entire community can access in a safe and healthy way for generations to come.

‘An active cycle and walking trail weaving between the towns in our region is just that. It will become a new way for locals to get to school, work, sport or shopping, a place to ‘The rail trail is an opportunity to turn this land into something truly special for our beautiful part of the world’.


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42 COMMENTS

  1. The rail trail would be another tourist attraction. Talk of it providing a facility for locals is purely specious argument.

  2. If Tweed Councilors decide to vote against this vitally important fully funded project, then they risk going down in history as the council that killed the $11million of funding for a world class window into our beautiful landscapes and healthy outdoors benefits, whilst also greatly damaging their credibility for any future funding considerations for anything at all.
    This is a no-brainer, as it secures public ownership of our corridor for the distant future; whatever our kids’ kids may need it for, which likely wont resemble the 1890’s train style needs of that era.
    The Rail Trail is the best, to preserve our great rail history, on strategic display along its 130 kms length.

  3. The Echo should fact-check this article, many of Mr Arnold’s claims are either false or highly misleading.

    Firstly regarding the claims on “land being sold” and bridges removed, Mr Arnold needs to check the basic facts here. The “four parcels of land sold-off” were not part of the rail corridor itself. It is highly misleading and outright false to suggest any sections of the gazetted rail corridor have been sold. This isn’t true. All four parcels of land he mentions were strips of adjacent land. They are not part of the rail corridor itself, they are adjacent land alongside. Big difference. The said land was at the time owned by Transport for NSW and surplus to requirement, hence sold. Two examples are within Byron Shire. Feel free to contact Council and ask them about the status of the sold land – they will say the same I have here.
    Nothing that occurs within the rail corridor, such as a rail trail project, would stop the future sale of adjacent lands surplus to requirement. In the same way, trains running on the line would not stop the future sale of adjacent lands surplus to requirement. I suggest Mr Arnold do the homework on the bare basics here, before making highly misleading and outright false claims.
    Furthermore, the gazetted rail corridor itself is protected by legislation that explicitly states none of it can be sold off until the corridor has been formally closed and de-gazetted (Transport Administration Act 1988, Section 99A). All four parcels of land concerned were alongside rail corridor that has not been formally closed.

    The statement “The railway line is already being dismantled in some sections” is also quite misleading. No sections of the railway line itself have been removed. That is a fact. Yes, some timber bridges have been removed but only due to the old age and safety risks. If you read the Rail Trail Feasibility Study (ARUP, 2014) (Appendix B), they note that most timber bridges would have to be removed and replaced anyway as part of rail trail construction. In the majority of cases, completely bypassing most timber structures for a rail trail was highlighted as the preferred option, being safer, cheaper and more practical.

    Clearly, Mr Arnold should do his research before making claims that are misleading, false and scaremongering.

    And in regard to the tendering process, in no way does it indicate whether off-formation is technically possible or viable. The tendering process was very one-sided and was geared to heavily favour on-formation bids. I believe the concept plans all only detailed on-formation, and the project manager explicitly said multiple times that it would be an on-formation trail (clearly signalling his desire to tenderers). There was minimal mention of off-formation in the Council documents provided to tenderers. Of course, tenderers will always design to what they think the client wants as to have the highest chance of a successful bid, hence they tendered to build the trail on-formation.
    The process is about pleasing a client based on the documentation given. In this case that documentation only detailed one option.
    Whether or not off-formation is technically possible or viable is a completely different story – in no way does a one-sided tendering process substitute as a proper investigation of technical and operational feasibility of an off-formation rail trail.
    The tendering process doesn’t prove a thing. Mr Arnold is stretching the truth in portraying it to be something it clearly isn’t.

    Oh, and I’ll add Mr Arnold’s claim “proceeding with an on-formation rail trail would not preclude trains coming back in future” is debatable at best. I am yet to hear of any example of rail trails being resumed as railways worldwide. The community are being taken for idiots, I think it’s clear to see that once you destroy a railway (which is mostly in reasonable condition), it won’t ever be re-laid.

  4. There has been a lot of work done to get the rail trail this far. It would be a shame to lose it now just for the sake of a few councillors who really don’t understand the situation. If the trail doesn’t go ahead soon we will be left with a derelict railway line that no-one can access. Please lets just get it started!

  5. After so many years there has to be a decision by the Tweed Councilors to proceed with the Rail Trail. There has been enough consultation and it is time for them to keep the corridor in public hands and vote for the Rail Trail.

  6. Yes for the rail trail and as most people would know and understand is that Tweed Shire is not just Murwillumbah, Burringbar and Mooball but must also encompass the burgeoning coastal residents from Kingscliff to Pottsville. As such the future train system must target both the inland and coastal population which the old steam age railway line on its existing corridor does not fulfill.
    If the train groups are serious about public transport they would be fighting for this future train to follow the M1 corridor as stipulated in both the Tweed Shire Transport Strategy document (link attached) and as discuss at the Cross Border Taskforce meeting.
    The train groups keep pushing for a slow public transport system on the old corridor that no state or federal government will fund .
    But maybe it is just a tourist train that they are fighting for and along with it the very expensive not subsidised fares .
    https://www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/Controls/Meetings/Documents/%5BEO-CM%5D%20NSW%20Long%20Term%20Transport%20Master%20Plan_Attachment_1%20-%20Public%20Transport%20Strategy.pdf

  7. How are half a dozen half-wits on horses supposed to ” provide a significant economic boost to the area ” while dismantling an invaluable publicly owned transport corridor ?
    Who is behind this idiotic proposal ? ……and where is rational government in all of this stupidity ?
    Please act to stop this lunacy, G”)

    • The proposal is not for a horse trail, but a rail trail a smooth path on the level rail bed that can be used by anyone who can walk, cycle or use a mobility device. In Victoria and QLD the attract hundreds of thousands of users each year.

      • If councils should not listen to out of town lobby groups why is it that train supporters like Beth Shelley from Lismore and other LGAs , some with valuable properties in those other LGAs, are regularly commenting on the rail trail in the Tweed?
        The rail lobby want more consultation with residents, but they never to go to the heart of this matter. They have never game to ask the community if it wants the now closed former rail corridor just sitting there unused. Why did they not survey Tweed businesses how many would rather an overgrown corridor closed to the public or a rail trail?
        The Government is not going to cut bus services to the elderly in cosstal areas of our region to provide a train along the corridor, the population
        of which is only growing slowly and has very high car ownership.
        There are no trains and there are not going to be. Parliament closed the line in Tweed last year. The tenders show leaving the rail in place is just not viable . Either we build the rail trail or we loose the funding and Tweed ratepayers will need to refund spent money and pay for any legal challenges. Have no illusions. The current moves by rail supporters are just about stopping the public using the corridor for a rail trail.

    • You obviously haven’t been anywhere near the Brisbane valley rail trail, the Otago rail trail, the great Victorian rail trail or any of the other rail trails around the globe. They have rejuvenated small country towns which were destined to decline into just localities. Some of these out of the way towns now have thriving businesses and life again because of these trails. I strongly encourage you to experience some of these for your self and see if it will change your opinion.
      Half wits on horses? They are a very small percentage of who regularly use these wonderful trail networks.

    • The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail has brought a steady stream of custom to every town along it’s 161km length. The visitors who come are generally people who stop at towns to experience them and spend money. I’ve heard a few businesses say they are only still open because of the Rail Trail.
      ‘half a dozen’ in the case of the BVRT is actually thousands. I’m not sure why you would question the intelligence of the visitors by calling them ‘half-wits’ – the strategy has been a proven winner elsewhere.

  8. The rail trail proponents can spin all they like about the so-called benefits of destroying a valuable train line to build a rail trail but the reality is such destruction would be an abominable waste of taxpayers’ money. People are not going to cycle in heat or rain to work, health facilities or uni in Lismore from the coast. Or cycle one hundred kilometers from Casino/Lismore to the beach with their surfboards strapped on the back. They’re not going to cycle to catch the Sydney train at Casino or a plane at Coolangatta, they want trains.

    The population of the towns along the line continues to grow, as does the numbers of tourists to the region. Trains are needed more than ever and will deliver social, economic and environmental benefits is spades.

    The community is mobilised again and stating loudly and clearly what they need and councils are realising that they’ve been handed a poison chalice. They know destroying the valuable C-M line will mean a huge community backlash.

    Local councils have a responsibility to listen to residents and ratepayers first and foremost, not small, cashed up out-of- town lobby groups .

    • Louise, rail trails are used around the world in all weathers. We have one of the best climates in the world. They are primarily for recreation, although some people will be able to use ours for commuting up to 20 kms. Public transport is needed of course, but it is not viable on this corridor. It does not go to any hospitals or universities or airports. Tourists will continue to use their cars for the convenience and the population growth areas are along the coast. The train line is no longer “valuable” as it has not been maintained for years and would need to be replaced in most areas, especially the bridges. The line has already been closed and it is time to move on. People will one again be able to access this wonderful corridor and truly enjoy being in nature. We have survived without the train now for 17 years and people adjust. We need small, electric buses to pick people up near to where they live and take them to where they want to go. No-one wants to drive to a railway station and then have to get a bus at the other end – especially the elderly and disabled. People travel the country and the world to ride rail trails on their holidays. We have witnessed it!!

      • The cyclists haven’t twigged that they’re just pawns in this awful political game of divide, conquer to create conflict and confusion in the community so the politicians can get away with this awful destruction of valuable public infrastructure. SHOCKING!

        You need to supply some facts and figures not just wax lyrical about ‘people using rail trails in all weathers’. Yes, they do, but in numbers to justify the cost of destroying a multi-billion $ train line is the question. Where are these rail trails, how many people, what economic benefits are generated? People keep talking about bike tracks elsewhere but never mention the local bike tracks with few cyclists on them.

        To state that “no one wants to drive (or walk, cycle, catch a bus) to a railway station and then have to get a bus at the other end” is complete rubbish-millions of people are doing so all over Australia and the world! University students could take their bicycles on the train to Lismore and ride to uni from the station instead of having to work several jobs to pay for cars and maintenance. Others could catch the bus outside the station to shops, medical appointments etc, just as they do all over Australia.

        The Byron train station is central to everything: the beach, shops, markets, unlike the $8m transit station which means people now have to walk further. With our population aging- in Tweed shire almost 30 percent of the population is over sixty-to state an expensive bike track would be used by everyone is nonsense. Ditto young families with prams-much easier to wheel them on to a train, and the child can sleep peacefully for the whole journey. Can’t do that with a bicycle.

        Informed locals have done the sums and know for around the same cost of destroying the line for a bike track trains will return major environmental, social and economic benefits in this fast growing area and one of the busiest tourist regions in Australia. And you can take your bicycle along to ride at the other end.

        Millions of people are travelling the world to come here already-our region cannot cope with the numbers who are clogging out roads with their cars. An expensive bike track will not take a single vehicle off our roads. We must have the sustainable, cost effective, safe train service the politicians told us we they would provide for so many years as ‘it is central to our future’.

        As for ratepayers paying back the money to the government if the bike track isn’t built-ratepayers know cash-strapped councils all over the North Coast have a backlog of road works they can’t afford to catch up on and this will get much worse if we don’t have people friendly, convenient, sustainable public transport, but keep increasing the traffic on our terrible roads.

        • Absolutely so Louise,
          Your summation is rational, insightful and true, your perspective demonstrates the value of appreciation of public needs over time, which is so starkly in contrast to the narrow, grasping attitude displayed here by those who sense an opportunity for personal profit and having no regard for ‘ public good’ nor proper planning. It is reassuring to hear that there is still some sanity out there, keep up the excellent commentary.
          Cheers, G”)

  9. Wow, I hope the Councillors tell the ratepayers how they’ll be repaying money to the government if this doesn’t get the go ahead!!
    Found it interesting that not one of the four tenders found a feasible design for rail beside trail. I think the best was 20% could be off formation. I think this shows that it just can’t be done. Let’s just get this moving so that the community and visitors can enjoy our beautiful region.

  10. ” …a public asset the entire community can access…” the entire community? A small portion of it really…compared to the greater percentage that could utilize public transport in allweathers.

    ” …a new way for locals to get to school, work, sport or shopping,”….the first three maybe, but how much shopping could you carry on a bike? And only in fine weather.

  11. Unfortunately Mr Arnold does not have his ear to the ground. I work within the civil construction industry, and I do know that a price for an Off -Formation (that is a bike track and runs alongside the railway track, within the same railway corridor) was submitted, and that price was less than the On-Formation pricing. As I have stated since 2018 when I gave budget pricing, of course it will cost more to construct a Rail Trail where the track once was, as it will cost more to rip up the track than the scrap value of the good steel (in this current market) and all the long bridges have to have concrete decking and railings to enable the push bikers to traverse safely (probably as much money as repairing them to a Light Rail standard) The council is currently deeming the Off-Formation submission as non-conforming – which is not surprising as there is no Off-Formation specification, design, scope even provided by council. In fact in council’s concept design documentation they don’t even contain the word ‘off-formation’ – so how can anything conform? The truth is, give the contractor an Off-Formation scope and specification, provide the same level of site investigation as they did for the On-Formation design – and I’m sure council would receive a conforming Off-Formation solution, that will probably save time off the overall construction programme due to not having to spend time removing the existing track, and making the contaminated ballast safe prior to commencing the trail construction. Also a big saving in time not having to remediate the timber bridges for rail trail – instead prefabricate and lift in shorter span light bridges.
    Overall – there is a Win Win solution here, Keep the rails for future Light Rail and have the Rail Trail run alongside. This was all seen as ok at the Murwillumbah Chamber of Commerce Rail Trail forum – both parties in agreement – but now for some reason the Rail Trailers want it all for themselves.
    The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail has shown to be very successful, being 140km long, much of it constructed off formation, costing only $12m to build, with the bikers scoring the ride surface highly. I can understand bikers from say Brisbane visiting that – but I don’t see them travelling to Tweed to ride only 24km each way, taking them only about 3 hours. The rail trail organisation state 27,000 visitors a year will use it. That’s just 74 a day on average. How is that small number going to pay for the maintenance of the line and bring in any business dollars?
    Whereas, with Light Rail, Byron to Murwillumbah, just 1% of the 6.4m Byron visitor bed nights = 64,000 visitors. I can see at least that many utilising an iconic rail system, and greatly benefiting business at the same time providing the much needed community transport for my kids, your kids, and their kids and so on. We need to think of our regions future transport needs.
    We can ride together – Light Rail + Bike Trail. Lets not be selfish.
    Visit our website for helps of info: http://www.wecanridetogether.com

    • In response to Mr Rayner’s first sentence:

      “It was noted that one bidder provided a notional value with substantial disclaimers for the construction for
      an off-track-formation rail trail. The qualifications included the need for approximately 1 month of
      additional site and design analysis and that their “estimated” price is indicative only and does not include
      any allowance for bulk earthworks alongside steep sections of the railway formation, or take into account
      the alignment of the High Voltage (HV) cable that shares and switches from either side of the corridor; and
      noting that the alignment would still need to utilise an on-track-formation through the two existing tunnels.”

    • Tom Raynor, you certainly don’t sound at all like a civil engineer, and you certainly don’t appear to have seen the current state of the corridor and rail infrastructure.
      You instead, seem to envisage easy and cheap solutions that allow both a full rail service to operate with a rail trail, through tunnels and over bridges designed specifically for a single train width.
      My brother is a civil engineer who project managed a 7kms extension of the underground rail tunnel in Hong Kong in the 1990’s, amongst many other high level projects in his career. When I told him their were some people here in the Northern Rivers, that thought the C to M line would be cost effective to reinstate, he just looked at me in disbelief. The look on his face said it all. Sorry.
      The facts are that we either have a fully functioning single track rail service (which by definition, is already grossly out of date) that would have operating costs of many millions of dollars per year, or a far far cheaper Rail Trail with minimal ongoing costs, that also brings small food, transport and accommodation businesses to life, offering employment opportunities for many locals.
      Unlike trains, rail trails can easily bypass many of the original timber and steel bridges, by having the trail detour down to a smaller steel beamed span over creeks, then back up to the formation again, thus avoiding huge expenses in overall rail trail construction costs.
      But the overarching issue is the CORRIDOR, not trains or bikes.
      We either revitalise the corridor with an achievable rail trail, or we lose the corridor via permanent disuse until it gets sold off.
      So Tom,, be very careful what you wish for.
      Because, NO, it is NOT possible for us to ride together, because there aint anywhere near enough room.
      Unless of course, we were both on bikes.
      Now, that would be something, eh?
      I look forward to that.
      Cheers..

    • What nonsense. The tender results are in. Forget your self serving hearsay . The final tenders show the only confirming designs firms were willing to put their money behind were on the rail formation. One off formation bid was received and it was more expensive, and required extensive uncosted earthworks to achieve a level rail trail ( not the challenging mountain bike track for a few Lycra wearing enthusiasts that rail supporters refer to ).
      The advice you provided to Tweed Council that an off formation path was possible has been decisively proven wrong by the four firms that when they submitted their tenders had to put their money where their mouths was . You of course have to justify why four firms so plainly disagreed with your assessment.

      It has to be said, your advice has been a divisive distraction, that had taken the community’s focus away from the issue here. Either we build the rail trail as it was designed and agreed, by governments, council and the Parliament, or the corridor sits there an unused eyesore , closed to any public use.

  12. Our community have overwhelmingly stated they do not support the Northern Rivers Rail Trail that precludes reinstating commuter rail services. So in short NO.

    • I am not sure what evidence you have for that. It all depends which side of the fence you are on. I see overwhelming support for a stand alone rail trail.

    • Speak for yourself. I know many, many people who are very much for the rail trail. I personally will use it at the very least weekly. I will also be one of the growing team of volunteers that will help maintain the trail.

    • The question facing Tweed Council is straight forward. Will it accept the tender to build the rail trial as it was designed on the corridor or will it return the funding – including that already spent – and leave the derelict corridor there unused indefinitely? The rail lobby has repeatedly asked if people want trains or commuter rail , but there is no plan or funding for that in the foreseeable future. It has never been game to ask if the community or businesses would rather the rail corridor sit there an used eyesore. It did not for example show 80% of businesses would prefer the rail trail or an unused corridor land. Nor is there anything to show ratepayers in Tweed want that either.

  13. Hurry up and build the rail trail we can’t wait to enjoy riding the whole length of this trail it’s going to bring many thousands of people to ride the trail and spend money at each town just look at Qld and the BVRT the businesses there are all prospering

  14. From an old mate who was worked on the Northern Rivers line in the 80s and 90s.
    Verbatim- It will never be open for rail traffic again. ..sorry to say…i worked in the timber bridge gang ftom 1989 to 1998…there were over a 120 timber bridges between Lismore and Murwullimbah. .and only a few of them did not have slow down speed put on them…all the rest had a 20km speed limit slapped on them because of the need to be repaired. .and a lot of the bridges were on curves…to much weight and load on the high rail..which just flogged out the timber structure. .construction timber is not a viable resource anymore and the life span of it is limited concrete and steel is the only true option to eradicate the maintenance and load issue….would cost way to much $$$$$ to cover the build and repairs..access to worksites is a major problem as well.so…really its only a dream..thinking it would get off the ground and up and running again…am sorry to say..😕😕

  15. Can’t wait to come down and stay in the area with my family for weekend trips and ride the trail. Rail trail tourism is big business.

  16. For goodness sake that rail line is dead as, has been for years and years and years, just check how many people are on the daily rail buses used to replace the services it used to provide and it’s obvious it’s long been dead and as dead as any rail line can be.

    The rail trail on the other hand is a living thing. It will breathe and bring new life into the area. What a drawcard!!!

    My household and friends are literally chafing the bit waiting and waiting for it to be opened for use.

    Tweed Shire Council, just get on with it, please 🙏

  17. The rail failed 17 years ago. 17 years with nothing to offer but wishes from train proponents. Its time to build the fully funded, government supported on-formation rail trail now. If we don’t use the corridor now, we’ll loose it.

  18. It will be just criminal for Tweed Councillors to vote against the legitimate best tender tonight. Please don’t mislead your rate payers into believing in a train revival. A fairy tale at best that will never attract Government or Private funding.
    TSC has confirmed funding for an on formation shared walking and riding path. Don’t delay with distractions anymore. Stay focussed on the vision you planned four years ago! Let’s make it happen!

  19. There is no train coming back…don’t leave the corridor unused for ever. Make something positive for the community. People can walk, ride & run. A great place to exercise in safety.

  20. Just a response to Phil Cash – a public train doesn’t ever fail – a train is a public service just like a hospital or a road – in what way does a road ever pay for itself – of course we need roads and we also need rails. To write something like this ignores the massive increases in resident and tourist numbers since 17 years ago – give me a break – It seems that local Councils totally ignore the needs of the elderly, the disabled and the young in fact anyone who doesn’t drive- I am very disappointed with this article in the Echo today !

    • Public train services certainly do fail when they consume huge amounts of public funds for very limited benefit. The public purse is not a bottomless pit for satisfying the desires of a tiny minority who think they deserve luxury public transport.

      In any case this is not about publicly funded trains. That possibility has long gone since the line was officially abandoned in 2013. The rail trail is the only formally proposed use for it. Crazy last minute, uncosted, unplanned and unfunded suggestions that have never been subject to any scrutiny should be ignored.

  21. This decision is a no-brainer, and the Council should approve the project on-formation and take the cash without further delay. No disused railway line has ever reopened in Australia, so this is actually a choice between losing the State funds and the disused land forever, or having a major tourism and recreational asset with the land protected for future generations & all possible uses.

  22. Just get it done and get Byron and Lismore councils on board to extend the trail. Great for tourism, great for the small towns it passes.
    Those against it as they want trains back, if rail was to be introduced in the future it will not follow the old corridor, it would follow the M1 which has previously been stated

  23. Totally support the Rail Trail. Just look at the evidence of success of other Rail Trails for local businesses and tourism in Brisbane etc. BRING IT ON!!!!

  24. Hurry up & get it built. I will be riding it as often as I can & volunteering on the maintenance team. This will be an absolute winner for the area just like the Brisbane Valley RailTrail, Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail, Murray to Mountains Rail Trail & all the others around Australia & the world.
    There is no funding Private or Government for any form of train, light or otherwise. The train is NOT coming back.

  25. Hello concerned citizens of Tweed Shire,

    We have been fed a lot of untruths, that are unfortunately mimicked by a lot of people in this debate, who then also “throw their two bob’s worth in”.
    Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I totally disagree with people pushing their beliefs when they are guided merely by what they are told, and then peddle their beliefs as facts.
    I wish more people would actually care to educate themselves, and learn more of the facts before blowing off steam, and making false and misleading comments spiced up with selfish attitudes that don’t represent the greatest majority of the residents of the shire.

    I’ve lived in the Tweed Shire for nearing 30 years, and I do educate myself before coming forth with comments.
    I don’t profess to be an expert on railways, but for those interested, my background is mainly aircraft engineering, though with relatively extensive experience in a vast range of fields.

    I ask people to read and absorb what people like Tom Rayner has written, as he is in fact correct in what he states.
    I have seen some (a very small portion) of the work he has done, and he is most knowledgeable in this issue having spent 1000’s of hours in research, attended many council meetings, and has a sound understanding of the tender process and how it has been ‘railroaded’ (so to speak) towards a predetermined outcome.
    By their own documentation, the council clearly directed the tenders for on-formation (i.e. trail in place of the railway track). And I feel that for people to state the tenders prove that on-formation is the most viable option is absolutely absurd, and unquestionably untrue.

    Bryon shire mayor Simon Richardson was also interviewed about the future uses of the corridor, and he spoke very clearly about this issue. If anyone wishes to increase their awareness, then I believe a video of the informative interview is available online. If people decide not to… then they shouldn’t be writing knowledge-less ‘opinions’

    Re our council direction and their decision of yesterday evening;
    Of course there must be other (undisclosed) intentions for the land within or along the corridor for council to be forcing this. Possibly state government may also have an agenda… though this, as the underlying goal of our council, I do not know. But I feel anyone would be foolish not to realise that something else is going on.
    I truly hope it is not a repeat of the practices that caused the sacking of the Tweed Shire Council some years ago.

    Never-the-less, we should not join so much of the country that has regretted removal of their rail and tram infrastructures, which in many (if not most) cases has eventually resulted in exorbitant costs to put the infrastructure back in place. Unfortunately in our case, if removed it is likely to never be reinstated as the land will suffer the fate of whatever the council has in mind… as removal of the tracks would allow for the non-transparent motive to cement the fate of no future rail services to our region.

    It should also be noted that the infrastructure is in much better condition than reported by council. It was built to heavy rail standard, which would require less work to resurrect for light rail use.

    Also, in order to remove this infrastructure shire-wide consultation should have occurred, yet despite claims by council, I know not of this having taken place.
    I, nor anyone I know, was consulted. And attempts have proven that differing opinions have not been considered.
    I have spoken with a vast number of people, and openly listened to both sides of the argument, and concluded it is undeniable that by far the greatest majority of the people want the rail returned, many not so concerned whether with or without a trail.

    Personally, I conclude that both rail and trail would serve all of the shire, though feel it is unfortunate that implementing both these services doesn’t satisfy the group that are only concerned with their wants.
    The minority (term ‘minority’ used to differentiate from 80+% of people wanting rail) is as evidenced, a very vocal group that demonstrate to want only an on-formation bike trail, with apparent disregard to the needs of the majority of shire, many of which are elderly.

    Off-formation is the most logical solution allowing for the possibility of future services, which would become more necessary with the new hospital.

    Though whether or not light rail services do eventually return to the Tweed, destruction of the existing infrastructure is not necessary… as there’s no need to destroy the rail for a trail. They can co-exist.

    Regarding the ‘trump card’ pulled at the council meeting;
    During a seminar held at the Regent Cinema a few months ago, an attending councillor was specifically asked whether the government funding was limited to being for an on-formation design… to which it was responded this would be checked and reported back.
    So how it can now be claimed (during yesterday’s 17th June council meeting) to have not been known that there was such a limitation (if there actually is) is totally unbelievable! This has the hallmarks of a last minute draw-card to force a decision in favour of selecting an on-formation tender. They can purport all they want, but I struggle with any possibly that this was not orchestrated.
    And if there is such a requirement that the funds for a ‘rail-trail’ are subject to the tracks being removed, then we should ask a big WHY?
    What’s the real agenda?
    If this doesn’t raise questions, I question the basis of how people vote.

    The process has been misleading, unconstitutional and undemocratic. If it were private enterprise it would be seen as bullying tactics.

    Incidentally, pretending bicycle riders alone will bring so much prosperity is far removed from reality!
    A trail alone, which as I understand is against the wishes of the landholders along the corridor, is likely to be neglected… unless accompanied by a rail which can subsidise maintenance.

    People of our shire, please learn more about this issue before commenting. And (no offense) but if possible, please refrain from basing one’s ‘knowledge’ on comments such as “the look on my brother’s face said it all!”

    Regards,
    Brad, a shire-wide concerned citizen

  26. Hello concerned citizens of Tweed Shire,

    We have been fed a lot of untruths, that are unfortunately mimicked by a lot of people in this debate, who then also “throw their two bob’s worth in”.
    Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I totally disagree with people pushing their beliefs when they are guided merely by what they are told, and then peddle their beliefs as facts.
    I wish more people would actually care to educate themselves, and learn more of the facts before blowing off steam, and making false and misleading comments spiced up with selfish attitudes that don’t represent the greatest majority of the residents of the shire.

    I’ve lived in the Tweed Shire for nearing 30 years, and I do educate myself before coming forth with comments.
    I don’t profess to be an expert on railways, but for those interested, my background is mainly aircraft engineering, though with relatively extensive experience in a vast range of fields.

    I ask people to read and absorb what people like Tom Rayner has written, as he is in fact correct in what he states.
    I have seen some (a very small portion) of the work he has done, and he is most knowledgeable in this issue having spent 1000’s of hours in research, attended many council meetings, and has a sound understanding of the tender process and how it has been ‘railroaded’ (so to speak) towards a predetermined outcome.
    By their own documentation, the council clearly directed the tenders for on-formation (i.e. trail in place of the railway track). And I feel that for people to state the tenders prove that on-formation is the most viable option is absolutely absurd, and unquestionably untrue.

    Bryon shire mayor Simon Richardson was also interviewed about the future uses of the corridor, and he spoke very clearly about this issue. If anyone wishes to increase their awareness, then I believe a video of the informative interview is available online. If people decide not to… then they shouldn’t be writing knowledge-less ‘opinions’

    Re our council direction and their decision of yesterday evening;
    Of course there must be other (undisclosed) intentions for the land within or along the corridor for council to be forcing this. Possibly state government may also have an agenda… though this, as the underlying goal of our council, I do not know. But I feel anyone would be foolish not to realise that something else is going on.
    I truly hope it is not a repeat of the practices that caused the sacking of the Tweed Shire Council some years ago.

    Never-the-less, we should not join so much of the country that has regretted removal of their rail and tram infrastructures, which in many (if not most) cases has eventually resulted in exorbitant costs to put the infrastructure back in place. Unfortunately in our case, if removed it is likely to never be reinstated as the land will suffer the fate of whatever the council has in mind… as removal of the tracks would allow for the non-transparent motive to cement the fate of no future rail services to our region.

    It should also be noted that the infrastructure is in much better condition than reported by council. It was built to heavy rail standard, which would require less work to resurrect for light rail use.

    Also, in order to remove this infrastructure shire-wide consultation should have occurred, yet despite claims by council, I know not of this having taken place.
    I, nor anyone I know, was consulted. And attempts have proven that differing opinions have not been considered.
    I have spoken with a vast number of people, and openly listened to both sides of the argument, and concluded it is undeniable that by far the greatest majority of the people want the rail returned, many not so concerned whether with or without a trail.

    Personally, I conclude that both rail and trail would serve all of the shire, though feel it is unfortunate that implementing both these services doesn’t satisfy the group that are only concerned with their wants.
    The minority (term ‘minority’ used to differentiate from 80+% of people wanting rail) is as evidenced, a very vocal group that demonstrate to want only an on-formation bike trail, with apparent disregard to the needs of the majority of shire, many of which are elderly.

    Off-formation is the most logical solution allowing for the possibility of future services, which would become more necessary with the new hospital.

    Though whether or not light rail services do eventually return to the Tweed, destruction of the existing infrastructure is not necessary… as there’s no need to destroy the rail for a trail. They can co-exist.

    Regarding the ‘trump card’ pulled at the council meeting;
    During a seminar held at the Regent Cinema a few months ago, an attending councillor was specifically asked whether the government funding was limited to being for an on-formation design… to which it was responded this would be checked and reported back.
    So how it can now be claimed (during yesterday’s 17th June council meeting) to have not been known that there was such a limitation (if there actually is) is totally unbelievable! This has the hallmarks of a last minute draw-card to force a decision in favour of selecting an on-formation tender. They can purport all they want, but I struggle with any possibly that this was not orchestrated.
    And if there is such a requirement that the funds for a ‘rail-trail’ are subject to the tracks being removed, then we should ask a big WHY?
    What’s the real agenda?
    If this doesn’t raise questions, I question the basis of how people vote.

    The process has been misleading, unconstitutional and undemocratic. If it were private enterprise it would be seen as bullying tactics.

    Incidentally, pretending bicycle riders alone will bring so much prosperity is far removed from reality!
    A trail alone, which as I understand is against the wishes of the landholders along the corridor, is likely to be neglected… unless accompanied by a rail which can subsidise maintenance.

    People of our shire, please learn more about this issue before commenting. And (no offense) but if possible, please refrain from basing one’s ‘knowledge’ on comments such as “the look on my brother’s face said it all!”
    My father-in-law worked on railway all his life, but I don’t qualify my comments on that fact.

    Regards,
    Brad, a shire-wide concerned citizen

  27. Judging on the success of the be the BVRT a Sound investment in the infrastructure of the districts which could only permeate two jobs, tourism and better general health of the wider community.
    Since Mount warning has become out of bounds The least the councils can do is to invest in this way.

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