Myth Busting the Rail Trail ‘the rail trail will retain the tracks’ FALSE. FACT: Taxpayer funds will be used to remove and scrap the tracks according to the Rail Trail Study. ‘the corridor will be safe from development in “public ownership”’ FALSE. FACT: The Study says the rail trail is not viable unless the zoning of the land is changed to allow development. FACT: Protections in the Transport Administration Act will also be removed according to the Study. FACT: Cafes, car parks, bunkhouses, camping grounds and the trail can be constructed on, over and adjacent to the alignment once these protections are removed. FACT: The more development that occurs, the more difficult it will be for trains to return in the future. ‘the rail line does not run where the population lives’ - FALSE. FACT: Rail currently connects Casino, Lismore, Grafton, Murwillumbah, Byron Bay, Mullumbimby, Bangalow, Kyogle, Ocean Shores and many other locations. FACT: 86% of residents in Byron and Lismore local government areas live within 5 kms of the line. FACT: Coolangatta /Tweed Heads will be connected to rail in the next few years. More Facts about the trail without rails $50 million of taxpayer funds will be used to rip up the tracks. There is a current shortfall in likely funding of at least $25 million. Toilets, car parks and other facilities are not included in the costing in the Study. Council funds are used to build facilities and maintain rail trails in many other places. 100,000 additional tourists are anticipated initially and proponents refer to a potential market of 750,000 people. What can you do? Contact candidates in the lead up to the NSW election on 28 March to say NO to trails without rails. Write letters to newspapers exposing the rail trail myths. Talk to family and friends about the issues. Demand better public transport. Contact your Councillors to let them know you don’t want your rates used to fund and maintain the trail without rails at the expense of local roads, parks and other facilities. Say NO to Trails Without Rails
Group against the rail trail. Protestors rally to represent the majority of Northern Rivers Residents who wish for public transport options. Prime 7 New’s Christine Tondorf calls the refurbishment estimates inflated and unsubtantiated.
Greens MP Tables more than 1,300 Signatures Calling for the Return of the Northern Rivers Rail Service | Dr Mehreen Faruqi. Dr Fauqi spearheads rail trail bill with our regional petition to reinstate rail services. The petition states that pricing for the rail trail would return service to sections of our Northern Rivers line, as well as highlighting the fact that feasibility study grossly overestimated the cost of line refurbishment. Thank you Dr Faruqi for preserving our rail corridor for the benefit of all, rather than a small minority of lycra lovers.
Australians are a predictable bunch. In 2010 our regional passenger travel totalled 145 billion kilometres, 65 billion kilometres of this travel was within a 200km wide stretch from Melbourne to Brisbane. Zero Carbon’s high speed rail report evaluates a proposed corridor spanning from Brisbane to Melbourne. Brisbane to Sydney could be achieved in only 3.5 hrs on a direct trip. 60% of Australians would be within 50 kms of the closest stop. In the Northern Rivers the local stop would be Lismore. A high speed rail terminal connected with regional rail running on our existing infrastructure would enable residents, and visitors, to travel unencumbered by cars. The high speed rail project is budgeted at a total cost of $84 billion. Setting passenger fares lower than equivalent airfares would see infrastructure and running costs returned within 40 years. It’s very exciting to envision such efficient transport being used to is maximum potential, as it can here in Australia. High speed rail really meets its best use for trips between 350 and 1300 Kms. Shorter journeys fall to regional rail, cycle, or drive, whilst longer distances are best served by air. Zero Carbon states that the proposed High Speed Rail can be powered by 100% renewable energy, and would result in almost 10% fewer Aeroplane journeys operating through Sydney. Get the full pdf report here