June 2016 Newsletter

 

What are the local politicians views on the Rail Trail?

We have asked our local politicians what their policy is on the Rail Trail. We asked them 3 questions and you can see their replies below. These are candidates that replied within the time frame given.

Justine Elliott, Labor (Richmond)

  1. Are you in favour of a dedicated Rail Trail between Casino and Murwillumbah?

Yes, I support the rail corridor between Casino and Murwillumbah being retained for the purpose of a Rail Trail. 

  1. If re-elected, will you actively support efforts to secure funding for the building of the Rail Trail?

I have previously written a letter of support for the Rail Trail and remain committed to supporting efforts to achieve this outcome.

  1. What benefits do you think a Rail Trail will bring to the Northern Rivers Region?

I have been advised that the Tweed Stage of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail will provide a direct and easy pedestrian and cycle link between key regional attractions along its length. Commencing at the Murwillumbah Railway Station the Tweed stage will form a backbone linking the historic rural villages of Stokers Siding, Burringbar, Mooball and Crabbes Creek. Cyclists, pedestrians and other users will be able to travel alongside rolling farmland along the easy graded journey taking in spectacular hinterland and mountain views along the way.

The rail trail will provide an economic boost to local businesses. The expected influx of people to the region wanting to use the rail trail would see increases in trade, the establishment of new businesses and greater employment opportunities.

Kevin Hogan, National (Page)

1. Are you in favour of a dedicated Rail Trail between Casino and Murwillumbah?

Yes, absolutely.

2. If re-elected, will you actively support efforts to secure funding for the building of the Rail Trail?

I am happy to advocate for funding for this project.

3. What benefits do you think a Rail Trail will bring to the Northern Rivers Region?

It will encourage more tourism, greatly benefiting the local economy and creating more local jobs.

Matthew Fraser, Nationals (Richmond)

  1. Are you in favour of a dedicated Rail Trail between Casino and Murwillumbah?

I support the rail trail. Rail trails have become popular worldwide and have proved to be a drawcard for tourists. I think a dedicated rail trail would be an asset to the area. 

  1. If elected, will you actively support efforts to secure funding for the building of the Rail Trail?

Absolutely. As a candidate I am already lobbying for a rail trail and if elected, I will advocate from within Government for any funds that will advance this project.

  1. What benefits do you think a Rail Trail will bring to the Northern Rivers Region?

One of my biggest visions for the region is to see Richmond become the Adventure Sports Capital of Australia. This project will further our reputation as an outdoor destination and bring tourism and jobs to the area. What the rail trail will also do is protect the rail corridor and keep it in public hands, because we don’t want to lose a local asset like this historic rail line.

Dawn Walker – Greens (Richmond)

  1. Are you in favour of a dedicated Rail Trail between Casino and Murwillumbah?

The Greens support rail trails alongside the existing track in conjunction with functioning public transport that meets the needs of our community as a whole.

  1. If elected, will you actively support efforts to secure funding for the building of the Rail Trail?

It’s important we preserve the rail line and look at innovative ways to have dual uses of the corridor, such as putting a bike path alongside the existing tracks. This would allow locals to travel between towns and tourists to travel to our local sites and events. This would also take cars off our congested roads and create tourism and employment opportunities across the region.

 

Janelle Saffin – Labor (Page)

  1. Are you in favour of a dedicated Rail Trail between Casino and Murwillumbah?

Yes, I support the rail corridor between Casino and Murwillumbah being retained for the purpose of a Rail Trail.  In fact, as the previous Member for Page I campaigned to preserve the rail corridor in public hands, and to keep it available for a range of different potential uses. I organised a petition with thousands of signatures that ensured the rail corridor was retained in public hands, paving the way for continued public use.

  1. If elected, will you actively support efforts to secure funding for the building of the Rail Trail?

Just this week I have announced that Labor will provide $65,000 towards a feasibility study for a Rail Trail between Casino and Lismore. This commitment is fully funded, and is an essential first step towards delivering this project for the people of the Northern Rivers.

  1. What benefits do you think a Rail Trail will bring to the Northern Rivers Region?

The Rail Trail will be an important addition to the Northern Rivers’ tourism infrastructure.  It will add to our existing attractions, while also drawing new visitors to the region.  Importantly, I believe that the best way to preserve unused rail corridors is to make sure they are in public hands and being used productively.  To put it simply – once rail corridors are gone, they’re gone. Retaining the corridor as a Rail Trail, however, ensures current generations can benefit from that infrastructure, while allowing future governments the flexibility to reintroduce rail services.

Angela Pollard, Animal Justice Party (Richmond)

  1. Are you in favour of a dedicated Rail Trail between Casino and Murwillumbah?

The AJP does not have a specific policy on the Rail Trail but it does encourage more animal friendly forms of transport such as walking and cycling which are far less likely to cause injury to animals than motor vehicle transport. Eco-tourism encourages individuals to appreciate the importance of our natural environment and protecting habitat for wild life. However, I would only make a decision about whether to support the Rail Trail after examining the capacity for it to co-exist with the return of the train line to the Northern Rivers. Train transport would significantly reduce motor vehicle traffic and therefore reduce animal fatalities on our roads, as well as reducing vehicle emissions which contribute to global warming.  

  1.   If elected, will you actively support efforts to secure funding for the building of the Rail Trail?

Yes, provided it does not prevent the return of trains on the line.

  1. What benefits do you think a Rail Trail will bring to the Northern Rivers Region?

Economic benefits derived from increased tourism, especially from walking and cycling enthusiasts.

Mark Ellis, Liberal Democrats (Page)

  1. Are you in favour of a dedicated Rail Trail between Casino and Murwillumbah?

I offer a qualified Yes, subject to me exploring the details.  From what I have been able to find out, I think this could be good public access to the area.

  1. If elected, will you actively support efforts to secure funding for the building of the Rail Trail?

Yes. Given the size of the budget deficit I thank anyone promising full government funding would be making fairly hollow promises.

There are number of approaches to private sector funding that could build the trail.  The labour cost would be a significant component.  In the past this sort of work has been done using work release prison labour which may be explored with suitable prisoners or people sentenced to community service projects.  There could be private sponsorship and value capture on land to fund it. 

I am a “can do sort of guy”.  Let’s be realistic about the constraints and see how we can do it in a way that will most benefit the community.

  1. What benefits do you think a Rail Trail will bring to the Northern Rivers Region?

It should have a positive economic impact to the area as a good tourist magnet drawing cyclists and walkers from national and international destinations.

All of the things about community fitness and jobs you said in the introduction appear to be true.

At 130km it will require camping sites and perhaps an eco-tourism hotel or two along the way.  It may even support a bike hire business so people don’t have to bring their own bikes.

It could be used for an ultra-marathon and other competitive events.


 

SUPPORT THE NORTHERN RIVERS RAIL TRAIL

  • Volunteer at the markets – contact enquiries@northernriversrailtrail.org.au
  • Tell your friends and family about the rail trail.
  • Encourage them to sign our online petition, follow us on facebook and join as a supporter from our website below.
  • Write to your local council thanking them for their support.
  • Contact your local state member to thank them for their ongoing support.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local paper in support of the rail trail. http://www.northernstar.com.au/contact/feedback/editor@echo.net.au
  • Tell your federal member about the rail trail
Print Friendly, PDF & Email