Great news for the community and all rail supporters. The Minister for Regional Development has announced that the Casino-Murwillumbah rail trail will not be proceeding. In a media release issued late Friday (June 19), the Minister said that stage 2 of the expression of interest process for our line will not go ahead. A lack of community support and a viable business plan appear to be the key reasons for the decision. It is also apparent that many of the expressions of interest received were track based and thus inconsistent with the rail trail proposal to rip up the tracks. This is a big win for the community and an acknowledgement of all those who have repeatedly reminded our representatives that trains are the preferred use for our tracks. A huge thank you to all for your persistence. Minister’s Media Release TOOT Media Release 19 June 2015 Rail trail stopped in its tracks: A win for community 19 June 2015 Today’s announcement that the expressions of interest (EOI) process for a rail trail on the Casino-Murwillumbah line will not proceed to stage two is ‘a win for the Northern rivers community’ says Trains On Our Tracks (TOOT) President, Basil Cameron. A media release issued today by the NSW Minister for Regional Development, John Barilaro cites ‘differing views as to the best model and a range of views and options for investment’ as the reason for cancelling the EOI process. Mr Cameron said, ‘The Minister’s words make it clear that the rail trail proposal failed to gain sufficient community support’. ‘In the face of a well funded and slick marketing campaign, the community has remained firmly in favour of using our tracks for trains’. ‘The rapid growth in the regional north-south and east-west transport corridors demands rail solutions that are less expensive and safer than a super sized roads only solution’. ‘Rail is a far better investment in tourism infrastructure that will deliver economic benefits and public transport across the region as well as ease traffic congestion in coastal towns like Byron Bay’. ’TOOT has always supported a dual use corridor and looks forward to community rail groups being included in discussions to bring this about in the near future’. Basil Cameron TOOT President
TOOT Annual General Meeting Northern Rivers Trains for the Future Inc (NRTF) TOOT (Trains On Our Tracks) Annual General Meeting to be held 19th May 5.30pm at Mullumbimby RSL A general meeting will follow. All members and interested people requested to attend. People able to contribute time or skills to the campaign to get Trains On Our Tracks most welcome. For more info Ph: 66804358.
The Northern Rivers Community has sent a strong message to the Baird Government; “hands off our tracks”. The majority of residents in the Ballina and Lismore electorates voted for candidates opposed to the removal of the Casino to Murwillumbah (C-M) rail line for a cycleway. The seat of Ballina, where only the Nationals candidate supported spending $50m ripping up the line for a cycleway, is now held by Tamara Smith for the Greens. Thomas George had held the seat of Lismore with a large majority and also supported the cycleway, only just scraped in with a handful of votes. Independent Jeff Jonson campaigned strongly for trains on our tracks and polled well in the seat of Ballina. In Bangalow, the heartland of the Rail Trail group. almost 75% of people voted for candidates who did not support ripping up the train line for a cycleway. The Baird Government clearly does not have a mandate to destroy this valuable piece of public infrastructure. Thanks to the efforts of the Northern Rivers community over many years we still have a rail line. Now we have to get the trains running again, Please come to the AGM at 5.30 on 19 May at the Mullumbimby RSL and help with the campaign. See below for details. Time to get connected It’s time to restart the conversation about using the line for regular commuter train services. Recent surveys of the line have shown most of the line to be in remaably good condition considering the eleven years of neglect, and with political will trains could be running on it very quickly, With over 4.6m tourists visiting the region each year, the line is a key piece of tourism infrastructure, as well as the backbone of a regional public transport system linking eight out of ten major population centres. Only 22ks of line is needed to connect the C-M line to Coolangatta Airport and the new Gold Coast line to Brisbane. It’s a long walk without a train The trail without rail proposal is not realistic as a transport option for locals. It is a proposal that benefits a few tourism operators at the expense of the general public and will likely see valuable rail land sold off for development. That’s exactly what happened to the original Gold Coast line in the 1960s. It’s now costing taxpayers billions to replace that line. We cannot allow that to happen here. Fight not over yet – keep email flowing Currently the NSW government … Read More