Northern Rivers’ say NO to trails without rails

Basil CameronUncategorized3 Comments

TOOT campaigners at the polling booths in Mullumbimby - March 2015

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

Trains On Our Tracks

Trains On Our Tracks

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

a lack of public transport decreases accesibility and increases regional isolation.

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 is considering expressions of interest for a rail trail. It is important that local MPs and Ministers know that the Northern Rivers’ community want to keep our tracks for trains.

As there is a new Transport Minister and Member for Ballina (see below), now is a good time to make sure the community voice continues to be heard.

Our tracks are not safe until the government dumps this divisive and unpopular trails without rails.

Say hello to your new MP for Ballina

Tamara Smith  MP for Ballina

Tamara Smith MP for Ballina

Congratulations to Tamara Smith on winning the seat of Ballina and for speaking out against ripping up the tracks during the campaign.

If you would like to extend your congratulations and let Tamara know of your concern that the tracks be retained for better public transport, send her an email.

…and a reminder to government members.

Thomas George   

Andrew Constance         Contact the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure

Geoff Proverst     

Click on email links, sign and send. Additional comments optional.
For contact links, click, complete form and send.



Basil CameronNorthern Rivers’ say NO to trails without rails

3 Comments on “Northern Rivers’ say NO to trails without rails”

  1. Eric Rendell

    Spoke to Louise
    ( 66804358 ) today , 12/01/2018 , with a suggestion of forming a Land Care group under the Umbrella of TOOT — ( see Allison Radcliffe Community Support Officer ,Brunswick Valley Landcare 0266267028 ) with a view to start work on the Tyagarah TO Mullum rail corridor.

    # Intention is to focus public & political attention on the valuable , Transport Option , Unused , on our doorstep .

    # Cutting an access track along the rail corridor will allow for inspection of bridges / track to determine accurate repair costs .

    # Restoration costs of BRIDGES can be minimised by Designing for LIGHT RAIL /TRAM construction .

    # Approval from NSW Rail must be obtained BEFORE work is commenced on clearing the rail corridor

    # Toot can call for expressions of interest in volunteering for the Landcare Work & also seek advice from the operators of BYRON SOLAR TRAIN.

    1. Basil Cameron

      HI Eric, mate, that sounds like an awesome idea, and you could get some attention for land care at the same time. The railway land has really been let go , but as you say, you will need permission from the track owner. If you are still keen, please respond to this and I will try to obtain these approvals Bill Fenelon President TOOT

  2. Basil Cameron

    Hi Mrs Cotton, thank you for your comment,. We agree the Northern Rivers towns are dying a slow death ever since the railway closed. Tourism potential of the railway is huge. We are working very hard to reopen the railway and thanks you for your vocal support.. Please join us some time at a meeting, they are happening frequently as we develop our strategy and decide which politicians will best serve our purpose, Which is to reopen the railway.. Help us by talking to your friends, and writing letters to the newspapewr. I would be happy to talk to you any time if you wish, and NEVER stop believeing !!!!! Please keep in touch. Bill Fenelon President TOOT

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