Johnson says no to rail trail and bypass, yes to light rail

Independent candidate for Ballina, Jeff Johnson, with members of TOOT at the Mullumbimby train station. Photo contributed
Independent candidate for Ballina, Jeff Johnson, with members of TOOT at the Mullumbimby train station. Photo contributed

INDEPENDENT Candidate for Ballina, Jeff Johnson has met with local residents and long time rail advocates to discuss his vision for a commuter and tourist light rail future for the Northern Rivers, saying he does not want to see a rail trail in place of a rail system.

Mr Johnson said there were synergies between the campaign to stop the highway deviation south of Ballina and the campaign to bring our railway line back to life, and that part of the savings from using the existing highway corridor between Ballina and Broadwater could go towards fixing up the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line and extending it to Coolangatta airport. 

All this could be achieved through the existing transport and roads budget, said Mr Johnson

"I am 100% against ripping up the rail line and replacing it with what is essentially an expensive bike/walking track," said Mr Johnson

"$50 million to rip up our rail line is unacceptable while the need for improved public transport grows.

"We can have a rail service and a walking/bike trail as happens in many parts of the world. I support investment in a commuter and tourist light rail service in the Northern Rivers."

Restoring our rail line and introducing a commuter rail service could be fully funded by the savings that could be achieved elsewhere in the budget, he said.

For example, he said, instead of the proposed highway deviation between Broadwater and Ballina, which cuts through Ballina's most important wildlife corridor and Aboriginal Sacred Sites, $300 million could be saved by widening the existing highway.

Topics:  jeff johnson koalas light rail pacific highway upgrade rail trail

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

UPDATE: Jockey remains in ICU at Coffs Harbour

INJURED: Jockey Kirk Matheson was injured in a fall during racing at Clarence Valley Jockey Club.

Injured jockey Kirk Matheson rushed into surgery.

PHOTOS: Meet our kindy students

Newrybar Public School

My First Year commemorates the start of school for kinders

Johnny Cash tribute will take you back to Folsom Prison

COUNTRY: Singer Daniel Thompson as Johnny Cash.

Johnny Cash The Concert Revisits Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison

Local Partners