Toot claims State Govt a risk over rails

PROTESTERS at the old Murwillumbah train station yesterday claimed the State Government could not be trusted with legislation that would give it the power to rip up rail lines across the State.

Cars honked in support as about 50 supporters of Trains On Our Tracks (TOOT) protested at the Government's Transport Administration Amendment Bill, which they say could lead to the sell-off of the Casino to Murwillumbah rail link.

The purpose of the Government's proposed legislation, the Rail Trails Bill, is to open up 3000km of disused rail lines for 'community recreational activities'.

It says the mass sell-off of rail tracks is not its intention, but Greens MLC Lee Rhiannon told the crowd the Government was 'dishonest'.

Ms Rhiannon accused the Government of using cycleways to justify an unpopular piece of legislation.

In a press release issued yesterday, the Government says: “You can be assured that any changes to the use of disused corridors will not occur without extensive community consultation.”

Ms Rhiannon said the legislation had not included enough time for proper community consultation.

Amanda Fazio, ALP Duty MLC for the Tweed and Ballina, said the Greens were 'mischief making'.

“The widespread sale of railway tracks was never the intention of the Bill,” she said.

The NSW Parliament resumes on October 20 and the Rail Trails Bill could come before it after that.



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