HERE we are over five months on from the devastating Lismore flood and the 'heart' is still bleeding from the lack of visitors, customers and clients mainly due to the councils total neglect of the CBD since the original cleanup, with roads, footpaths, car parks and even pedestrian crossings still in need of repair and cleaning, let alone any new improvements to entice people back into town.
Ratepaying businesses and landlords must be very disappointed with the council's lack of support and input into the full recovery of this iconic Northern Rivers City apart from the introduction of a number of disconnected cycle paths which are a hindrance to traffic and too dangerous for bike riders to use preferring footpaths or roads instead, with not a cyclist to be seen on them since their inception.
Councillors seem to be more concerned about their individual political agendas than attending to core local government responsibilities and perhaps it is time for the State Government to consider appointing an administrator if this organisation can't get its priorities right and really give some love back to the 'heart' of Lismore. — P Russell, Ballina.
Rail over trail
WITH all this talk about bike paths instead of rail in the Northern Rivers, it seems to be forgotten that climate change is happening right now and urgent action is needed. Reintroducing rail in this country is essential to reducing emissions. Rail has been neglected for 40 years especially in NSW because of road lobbyists.
An interview on ABC Radio National with engineer Frank Szabo called, ‘Reducing Transport Emissions’ states: “In 2015, the transport sector overtook electricity generation as the biggest energy user in Australia. By far the biggest slice of these emissions is from road transport at 87%. Cars alone account for 49%. Rail is a highly efficient, low-friction mode of transport. In many cases, by using less energy, rail can give significant emission reductions compared to road transport.”
With two million tourists to Byron Bay every year, an increasing population and a huge number of trucks on the highway we should immediately repair the Casino to Murwillumbah railway line for passenger and freight use. With a surplus of over $4 billion the NSW Government could easily do this but are still captive to the road industry. — Beth Shelley, Booerie Creek.
I REFER to the letter "off track" by Aburaya Phim, and her suggestion developers have contributed to the rail trail campaign. Why would they?
The Explanatory Memorandum to the model legislative amendment to enable rail trails in NSW specifies that it is for a cycling and walking trail. Any other use would require a further amendment but would be opposed by rail buffs, cyclists and the business and employees who benefit from the estimated $200 a day they will spend.
And I do not know how she imagines the train will take our kids to school – most do not live along the line and they have a free bus service to do just that. In the 60s the train used to take us from Byron Bay and Bangalow to Mullum High but parents lobbied to replace it with buses, because of the poor timing, always an issue with inflexible rail services.
The Sustain Northern Rivers Transport Survey 2013 which found the main barrier to public transport use was timetabling constraints (30%) – only 9% thought not having a train would help increase public transport use. These restraints are easier to address across our region with regular bus services than with a far more expensive train that serves just one route (and does not go near any of our campuses). I would also commend readers to the Northern Rivers Social Development Council (NRSDC) submission to the inquiry last year into access to transport for seniors and disadvantaged people in regional NSW, which did not once mention the train or the rail, but which offered practical and affordable suggestions on how to improve and make more accessible the buses. — Peter Hatfield, Cumbalum.
I RECEIVED an email from the Member for Ballina and would like to see what other views might be out there seeing Australians are being asked to make a decision and paying a lot of money to do so.
Marriage is a CHRISTIAN institution that was instigated by a Holy God between a male and a female who were created in HIS image. God’s image is therefore not upheld in ‘same sex’ marriages – this makes a mockery of the Christian faith, which happens to be very insulting to me personally and to worldwide Christians as a whole. If people of the same gender want to live together within a binding agreement, that is their decision and Christian faith is not trying to stop this; every person has and makes their own choice/s in life and even God himself allows this. Australian law could be changed so people can take advantage of the legal benefits and protections, without giving it the Christian label of marriage!
The bible is very clear that marriage is a divinely established covenant between a man and a women – full stop!
You look like an intelligent women Tamara; you seem to be interested in your constituents views, so please don’t be ignorant by taking one side. — Diane Kirch, Ballina.