Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Departure of Costa Should Spur Rail's Return to Region

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Departure of Costa Should Spur Rail's Return to Region

Article excerpt

NOW that Michael Costa is no longer in State Parliament, the Government - if it is sincere about improving public transport - should move without delay to reopen the Casino-Murwillumbah railway.

As Transport Minister, Mr Costa abruptly took it upon himself to cease train services, discontinue maintenance and let weeds grow over the rail. Conveniently, the line deteriorated to the point where he felt 'comfortable' to order its closure.

Railways are a vastly cleaner mode of transport than road, producing 90 per cent less greenhouse emissions. Yet despite the climate change threat and rising fuel prices, many thousands of people in the Lismore, Byron Bay and Murwillumbah areas are denied access to a train.

The $1 billion spent on the Pacific Highway from Tweed Heads to Byron Bay since the year 2000 contrasts starkly with the nil dollars spent on our rail system, in one of the fastest-growing urban corridors in the country.

Reopening the Murwillumbah railway would also boost the current proposal for a 22-kilometre rail link between the Far North Coast and South-East Queensland.

If the Government truly wishes to benefit the environment and people's pockets, bringing the trains back should be a high priority.

Hidden agenda?

I FEEL compelled to reply to the letter of Gaby Luft, of Maleny, (NS, 2/10) regarding the Mullumbimby Community garden project.

Firstly, it is interesting to note that the letter writer is from Maleny in Queensland, not Mullumbimby, and believes that she is in a position to assume that we in Mullumbimby are ignorant of the benefits of a community garden.

Where is the community garden in Maleny? Could it be that there is no need for one in Maleny, as it is a rural town and the majority of residents have a little bit of land to grow fruit and vegies?

Secondly, Gaby goes on to tell us all about how great the gardens are in Brisbane (and in Europe). …

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