Rail trail bill abandoned

The NSW state government has abandoned its plan to sell off disused rail lines by withdrawing the so called Rail Trails Bill.

Transport Minister David Campbell’s office claimed the decision to withdraw the bill was due to the amount of legislation on the government’s agenda and the lack of support in the upper house from The Greens and The Nationals.

Greens MLC and transport spokesperson Lee Rhiannon said it was a big win for communities across the state.

“The government’s so-called Rail Trail Bill was an irresponsible piece of legislation. If passed it could have resulted in the loss of valuable rail corridors and infrastructure by alienating it for profit making purposes other than rail trails,” Ms Rhiannon said. “The bill that has been withdrawn only used the term ‘rail trail’ in its title. It did not clearly rule out the short or long term lease of a rail corridor for profit for purposes other than a rail trail... the community could see (through) the government’s hidden agenda.”

TOOT president Karen Kolbe said they were pleased to see the government had realised the folly of selling off railway lines across the state.

“TOOT thanks the groundswell of people who sent many emails and letters to the NSW parliamentarians pointing out the deficiencies of the Bill...The campaign to see trains on our tracks continues and we invite the NSW Transport Minister and the federal government to work together to deliver services,” she said.


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