CPSA will join transport and community organisations today to oppose a bill that will give a green light to ripping-up rail lines across NSW.The ‘Rail Trail’ Bill introduced by the NSW Government will take away a requirement for an Act of Parliament to approve the removal of a rail line.
“It is beyond belief that the NSW Government’s justification for this bill is that it will satisfy local communities’ wishes. CPSA thinks it convenient that if this legislation is passed, lucrative rail corridors stand to be sold to private developers, such as the Newcastle line and the Casino to Murwillumbah line” says CPSA Policy Coordinator Charmaine Crowe.
“CPSA can only surmise that this bill is to benefit private developers, not local communities, who have already been disadvantaged from rail line closures.”
“Once a rail line is ripped-up, there’s next to no chance of getting it back. Rail is a cheap andenvironmentally sustainable form of transport. Removal of lines directly contradicts efforts to reduce carbon emissions and improve access to public transport. It will put more cars on roads and effectively guarantee that disused rail lines will never be reopened.”
“It will further detriment the NSW public, especially elderly and less mobile people who rely on trains to get around.”
“NSW’s over-65 population is projected to reach 2 million by 2036. Transport planning is critical to meet the needs of an ageing population, which the NSW Government has noted in its planning for 2030 document. However, its practice is in direct contrast to its mandate that transport planning should ‘meet the gap in transport requirements for older people’ (NSW Government Towards 2030: Planning for our changing population).”
“Bicycle paths are not an effective transport option for elderly and less mobile people. Trains provide affordable and practical transport, allowing older people to stay in their communities and retain independence. Minister for Transport David Campbell still hasn’t explained why walking tracks and cycling paths cannot exist alongside rail lines.”
“The NSW Government should be putting trains back on tracks. Not ripping tracks up.”
“CPSA calls on MPs to vote down this bill to ensure that communities can keep their rail.”
Media contact: 0410 612 182
Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association (CPSA)
Level 9, 28 Foveaux Street Surry Hills NSW, 2010
Phone (02) 9281 3588
Mob 0410 612 182
Fax (02) 9281 9716