Greens commit to deliver the Public Transport needs of the Northern Rivers

MEDIA RELEASE Thursday, March 7 2019:  Greens Candidate for Lismore, Sue Higginson, will steer us out of the division imposed on our communities over the future use of the rail corridor.

Ms Higginson said, “The National Liberals have failed to take concrete steps to fix the Northern Rivers’ transport mess left by Labor’s short-sighted decision to abandon our railway line. In the past 12 months, I have received numerous representations, petitions and pleas from members of the community advocating to get a train of sorts back on our tracks and those who would prefer the rail corridor converted into a rail trail.”

“All advocates of train and trail make great cases and points of which I agree with. We should have a fully functional public transport system that connects us and the places we need to be and that brings our coastal visitors to our heart. We should have beautiful bike paths and scenic trails where those who love to walk and ride, wherever they come from, can do so.”  

“It is clear that some of our political representatives across our region have chosen to back a particular side while we have been left to fight each other over the best use of the rail corridor. Meanwhile, the present and future public transport needs of our region are out of focus and unknown.”

“There are various reports out there, but they do not present the necessary evidence needed to make proper decisions about such a serious matter.”

Ms Higginson says “I will ensure funding for an immediate detailed feasibility study to create an integrated Public Transport Plan that extends to Tweed Heads, to connect our Lismore-Casino line and enable all the people in between to travel to Brisbane.”

“Our plan will take advantage of new technologies such as electric shuttle buses and light rail. It would extend at least to Tweed Heads, connect to our Lismore-Casino line and enable all the people in between to travel to Brisbane.”

 “It has been long overdue, but new technologies are here to revolutionise how we do public transport in this region. It is time to embrace emerging technologies and improve the accessibility, opportunities and quality of life for the people of this region,” she said.

The Greens Integrated Public Transport Plan will:

1.       Develop a comprehensive Public Transport System across and beyond the Northern Rivers, to improve the movement of our communities and our touring visitors through our Region.

2.       Build the Public Transport System on principles of accessibility, safety, affordability, efficiency, sustainability and tourism opportunity and including trains, light rail, electric buses, car sharing, cycleways and walkways.

3.       Retain land currently designated as Rail Corridor as public land for the purpose of the Public Transport System.

4.       Retain existing rail tracks and rail infrastructure in situ until the Public Transport System is designed, approved and funded.

5.      Promote the Rail Corridor as the key link between villages that then offer settlement options including affordable housing.  

Ms Higginson said, “Any transport system in the Northern Rivers must be connected to the Gold Coast light rail link to the north and the existing heavy rail network at Casino. The nature of that link will be decided by an independent feasibility study taking into account all the variables of sustainability, growing population and tourism, and our future transport needs.”

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