Walking down election track
IF ELECTED as Byron Shire mayor, Sol Ibrahim will push to have the train line in the shire transformed into a bike and walking track.
The Casino to Murwillumbah train line has not operated since 2004 and Mr Ibrahim reckons the Byron Shire's section of the line would be better converted into something useful for the community.
"So far the State Government hasn't recanted on their original decision to stop the trains from running north of Casino," he said.
"Ten years have almost gone by now, so we're looking at what else we could do."
Mr Ibrahim said the new track would be environmentally friendly, support healthy lifestyles and benefit Byron Shire businesses.
"There would be no need to clear new land and it's a very low carbon-emissions option because it's all about cycling and walking," he said.
"It would also bring business to places like Bangalow and Mullumbimby and it would move Byron away from being just a party town."
However, Mr Ibrahim's proposal has been opposed by Byron Shire Council candidate Karin Kolbe, who said the majority of locals wanted trains to resume operating.
"This community has repeatedly voiced their support for commuter rail services," she said.
"We know our young people struggle to get to university or TAFE at Lismore."
Ms Kolbe also said council would have to maintain respective infrastructure, including the line itself and bridges which cross over the line if the NSW Government transferred responsibility to council.
"Council does not have the funds to take on this responsibility," she said.
"A rail service will provide year-round employment as well as support local businesses along the rail line."