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’.