Labor will put forward amendments to close a loophole that could see hundreds of kilometres of disused railway lines sold off – destroying any chance to get rail trails off the ground in NSW.
Labor will move amendments to the Government’s Bill to close the disused Rosewood to Tumbarumba rail line, ensuring that the land is preserved as dedicated Crown Land.
Removing a dedication over Crown Land would require the approval of both Houses of Parliament and offered a practical way of ensuring the land remains in public hands
Labor said it supported the rail trail and wanted to explore practical ways of turning railways lines into walking and bicycle tracks to promote regional tourism.
The Government’s Bill include a provision that the rail line could be sold.
It’s important that all sides of politics work together to progress the rail trail concept and achieve the very best outcome for the community.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister Mick Veitch for Primary Industries and Lands
“Labor supports rail trails and wants to ensure we give such proposals the best chance of succeeding.
“I’m concerned that this could be a Trojan Horse Bill that will actually lead to the closure and sale of the rail corridor.
“Labor’s amendment ensures the land remains protected as dedicated Crown Land – public land with the protection of Parliament.”
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport Jodi McKay
“We know the Government’s record when it comes to privatisation which is why so many regional communities want to keep Rail Trails as Crown land.
“The sneaky sale provision in this Bill needs to be removed so all in the community can move forward with confidence.
“Rail trails are a wonderful tourism initiative and NSW lags behind other states in their creation. We commend the Government on establishing NSW’s first rail trail, but we have to get this right from the start and so we’re asking the Government to guarantee public and community ownership of these corridors.”