News

M'bah rail too costly: report

THE STATE Government has all but dashed local hopes the Casino to Murwillumbah railway will ever operate again - at least under its watch.

The much-awaited, final report of the Cross Border Transport Taskforce was released with little fanfare yesterday by NSW Transport Minister David Campbell.

The five-page report, which has taken three years to come to light, left little room for doubt.

“Additional work on the question of a commuter rail line is not recommended,” the task force concluded.

“Additional studies will not change the need to replace life expired infrastructure, in particular timber bridges and sleepers, or the fact that the population densities are not sufficient to support the patronage required for heavy rail.”

No submission to the task force had challenged the “significant” financial costs associated with trains servicing the region, it said.

It also rejected the idea of linking by rail south-east Queensland with the North Coast of NSW.

“It would appear ill-conceived to spend public money on a study on the potential linking of the Queensland railway to a section of line in NSW the operation of which will not be sustainable at any time in the foreseeable future,” the report reads.

The taskforce said new bus contracts in the region were already operating to best suit local needs.

Finally, it recommended an assessment be done to allow traffic to cross the rail line at a second point in Byron Bay to alleviate congestion in the town.

A second level crossing could achieve that, the taskforce said.

Mr Campbell said it was now time to move forward.

“Some public submissions advocated the restoration of the Casino to Murwillumbah train service, however, the report found that the greatest need for residents in the area is for intra- regional connectivity and local transport,” he said in a statement.

Andrew Nicholls, from the transport minister's office, had been appointed as the NSW cross- border transport liaison officer, Mr Campbell said.

Casino-to-Murwillumbah rail line advocate, Trains On Our Tracks (TOOT), was not surprised with the taskforce findings and vowed to fight on.

“They've completely ignored the needs of tourists,” TOOT president Karin Kolbe said.

“They are condemning everyone to use the congested Pacific Highway.”

Ms Kolbe also said the task force had misrepresented projected population growth in the region, had ignored the reality of how residents were dispersed across the area and had neglected to consider climate change.



8 things you didn't know you could do at North Straddie

NORTH Stradbroke Island is the perfect getaway whether you plan to stay for a day, a week or even a month.

A whisky-lover's blueprint to Brisbane's best bars

Check out The Gresham for some old-school fine drops.

SCOTCH, Whiskey and Whisky; it all gets a bit confusing.

Your guide to the best Brisbane markets

Enjoy the beautiful offerings of one of Brisbane's many markets.

WHO doesn’t love a good market!?

Ain’t no mountain high enough

No Caption

Brisbane's dishing up the mountain-hiking goods!

Six hideaway bars to escape winter chill

The Gresham's charm will win you over before your first sip.

THESE are the perfect places to hang this winter.

Our six art gallery picks for a creative day out

Queensland's Gallery of Modern Art always has a fun, exciting and interesting exhibition on show for the whole family to enjoy.

YOU'D be mistaken in thinking Brisbane wasn't an arty city.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Labour savers or waist expanders?

Are there subtle changes you can make to combat obesity?

Living Naturally with Olwen Anderson: Obesity epidemic

MasterChef challenge ahead for top Tweed chef

Cabarita restaurant Paper Daisy's chef Ben Devlin will appear on Channel 10's MasterChef on Tuesday night.

"You need to be quite clever with choices”

Laffranchi backs in Blues to rebound in Origin III

Aaron Woods of the Blues (centre) looks on after New South Wales were beaten at the post by a surging Maroons' side in Sydney on Wednesday night.

"It's a new day, the sun's risen and it's on again next time”

Local Partners

Digging down to find Clare

After five years on the TV series Nashville it’s time for Clare Bowen to tell stories about herself and her loved ones.

TV REVIEW: Offspring season 7 is... fine

Alexander England and Asher Keddie in a scene from season seven of Offspring.

New Offspring won’t be remembered as the best season.

What's on at the cinemas over the school holidays

Tom Holland in a scene from the movie Spider-man: Homecoming.

Escape from reality over the holidays with a trip to the movies.

Rapper accidentally drops Banksy's real name in interview

Banksy’s ‘The girl with a balloon.’

Rapper Goldie may have just outed Banksy's real identity

Mariah Carey slammed for on-set antics

Mariah Carey’s cameo in the movie The House was reportedly scrapped.

Actor spills the beans on Mariah’s “borderline abusive” behaviour.

Celebrity chef Darren Simpson dead after long illness

Celebrity chef Darren Simpson has died.

Celebrity chef died after battle with an alcohol-related illness

Ellen shames audience member

Ellen shamed an audience member who stole from her gift shop.

TALK show host catches audience member stealing from her gift shop.

Millionaire Nathan Birch to offload $55M in property

Nathan Birch wants to focus more on developing properties.

Sydney property investor has announced he is selling up

Fame factor boosts property prices in Byron

The stunning Clarke's Beach in Byron Bay.

House prices surge by an incredible 39.5% in star-studded area

Buyers flock to Tweed hipster hotspots

Tweed houses and units continue to be hot property.

Casuarina keeps top spot for region's house prices

Grass is greener for Warwick real estate

Warwick's rural charm and affordable property prices are enticing buyers from Brisbane.

Quality houses for half the price of Brisbane attracting interest

Builders relish Coast's growing construction rates

The Coast's average house price has risen from by more than $10,000 in the past three years to $507,100.

House numbers and values are rising on the Coast

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!