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Originally published 20Oct2009


save our railway lines: urgent!UK good news

Greetings MCANics

Apologies for lateness of this - it still may be worth writing to save the rail: here is message from Cr Basil Cameron:

Dear Colleagues

I am writing to ask you for your URGENT support in help stop the passage of the Transport Administration Amendment (Rail Trail) Bill. There is no time to waste. The Bill goes before the NSW parliament tomorrow (Oct 20).

The Bill removes the parliamentary protection for our Casino-Murwillumbah rail line and puts all the power in the hands of the Transport Minister. With 30 days notice, the Minister would be able to start dismantling the rail line and selling off the corridor.

While the NSW government is looking to remove the possibility of a sustainable rail future for the Northern Rivers, councils across the region are making plans for rail in the draft transport plan for the region.

See copy of my letter below in red for more information.

Please take action now to help save our rail corridor and keep open the possibility that we will get trains on our tracks.

The Bill can be defeated if enough upper house Members vote against it. The Liberal/Nationals and Greens have said they will vote against the Bill. The following four Members hold the key to our rail future. Click on their names to send an email.

Mr Roy Smith MLC
Mr Robert Brown MLC
Mr Fred Nile MLC
Mr Gordon Moyes MLC

Write or send copies to...

Premier Rees
Transport Minister Campbell MP
Amanda Fazio MLC

TOOT and other community members will be in Sydney tomorrow to meet with upper house members. Help support their efforts by forwarding this email onto your contacts and ask them to act and send it to their contacts etc.

Send copies to the following.

Janelle Saffin MP
Hon. Justine Elliot MP
Hon. Anthony Albanese MP

Use the links below if you want to find email addresses for other NSW and Federal Members you want to send copies to.

Click here to find email addresses for NSW Members of parliament.
Click here to find email addresses for Federal Members of the House of Representatives.
Click here to find email addresses for Federal Senators

Click here to find reports and publications with more information about the line.
Click here to find out more about the TOOT campaign for Trains On Our Track.

Thank you for your help.
Basil Cameron


Dear Member

I am writing to ask that you consider the following points and vote against the Transport Administration Amendment (Rail Trails) Bill.

The proposals in the Bill

Are unnecessary and too wide ranging for the purposes of establishing rail trails.
Remove the parliamentary protection for rail lines and corridors.
Hand the Minister too much power.
Provide no guarantee that land and infrastructure will not be sold off.

Why is the Bill not specific to the areas where there are rail trail proposals?

As a Councillor and Deputy Mayor of the Byron Shire Council, I can affirm that the Council and the community have resolved to protect our line as well as actively campaigned for a re-opening. In fact our regional organisation of councils, NOROC is currently working on a transport plan that includes rail.

Why does the Bill not exclude corridors that are in high growth regions such as the Casino-Murwillumbah line, which connects key transport links in the Northern Rivers just south of the Queensland border?

A snapshot of current transport activity in the border region of Queensland and NSW demonstrates an urgent need for rail in the Northern Rivers.

Pacific Motorway carrying more than 120,000 vehicles a day – almost 50% higher than the F3 (Sydney-Newcastle) that peaks at 83,000 vehicles a day. [Sydney-Brisbane Corridor Strategy (SBCS), Dept. Transport and Regional Services 2007]
Pacific Motorway projected to reach 215,000 vehicles a day in 2026. [SBCS]
Number of vehicles per day crossing border on Pacific Highway in 2004 – 42,724. [AADT, RTA 2004]
Number of vehicles per day projected to cross border on Pacific Highway in 2026 – 151,000. [SBCS]
Coolangatta International Airport is situated on the border at the juncture of the Pacific Highway and Pacific Motorway. It has expanded rapidly in recent years and is now the fourth busiest airport in Australia with around 5 million passenger arrivals and departures annually, 45 percent of whom are from or to NSW.
Queensland government is rapidly extending the Brisbane-Gold Coast rail line towards Coolangatta Airport as well as increasing rail capacity within the corridor so as to manage increasing vehicle numbers on the Pacific Motorway (see above).
A new light rail is also being built within the Gold Coast corridor.

What is NSW doing to manage this large growth in transport demand and use? Removing protection for the Casino-Murwillumbah rail line, which is strategically located to provide connectivity to the Queensland rail system at Coolangatta Airport and become the spine of a regional integrated public transport system for the Northern Rivers.

We in the Northern Rivers are used to being neglected by the New South Wales Government, but the proposals in this Bill are not acceptable to our communities. The Casino-Murwilllumbah rail line and corridor are vital ingredients in a sustainable transport future for the region.

Please help protect our line and vote against the Bill.

Yours sincerely

Basil Cameron
On a brighter note: message from UK via Edna (thanks)

"The residents of Holmfirth in Yorkshire have proved that small local campaigns can make headway against commercial Goliaths by seeing off Tesco. The chain had hoped to build a 5,800-sq-m superstore on the edge of town (pop. 28,000), but withdrew the proposal after residents sent 1,200 letters of objection to the council. The campaigners acknowledge that Holmfirth needs new shops, but say that a vast Tesco would kill off its existing bakers, butcher and greengrocer."


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