HE SAID, SHE SAID: Two views on trains v rail trail
WHETHER to bring back the trains or build a rail trail along the rail corridor - it's a hotly debated topic on the Northern Rivers.
Both State and Federal governments announced multi-million dollar support for the rail trail project last week, but it has done little to quell the debate.
Two letters received by the editor of The Northern Star highlight the opposing thoughts on the topic.
In a letter about missed opportunity with regards to rail, Claire De Ellae from Urbenville said "MPs missed it”.
WHILE third world Africa builds a railway from the West of the African continent to the east of it for travel, transport, trade and manufacturing our Northern Rivers politicians invest in bicycles.
Is it a case of when economic development abilities were given out these MP's thought they said trains and they missed theirs.
Richard White from East Ballina calls the campaign to return rail travel to the region a "runaway train”.
FOR too long TOOT/NRRAG have played the deceptive game of simply asking North Coast residents: Do you want a train back?
They have rubbished all the government reports since 2012 but have yet to initiate any verifiable research to back up their 'costings'.
They have not had a major fundraiser to pay for an engineering report, they haven't even put applications in to government programs such as Fixing Country Rail which includes funding for "reinstatement of non-operational lines”.
All they do is bleat about public transport which for them is the train.
Have they participated in any of the forums which have resulted in the current bus trial and car free day on 27th February when buses will be free? NO!
Do they ever mention Home Assistance & Regional Transport (HART) which services the elderly and disadvantage? NO!
This minority has also been influential in splitting the local Greens who should be following Tamara Smith's (the Greens member for Ballina) "lead and visibly supporting the local bus initiative.
If the bus trial fails, the government(s) will have a case for pulling back from improving much needed public transport here.
If you want better public transport, get on the commuter bus or at least catch a bus on 27th February.
Forget the misleading rail campaign that has not achieved its aim of returning the train on the old track but can derail the current bus (public transport) initiative.