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
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 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Constance Contact the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure
Geoff Proverst email@example.com
Click on email links, sign and send. Additional comments optional.
For contact links, click, complete form and send.