Greens NSW MP and Transport Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, and Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith, are calling on the NSW Government to stop the sale of rail corridor land to property developers in Byron.
A Development Application lodged with the Byron Shire Council by developer Wollongbar Properties contains application for a 611sqm parcel of public land stated in the DA as railway land behind the Wollongbar Motel on Shirley Street in Byron Bay that is going to be sold by Transport for NSW. Submissions to the DA close on Wednesday, 10 January.
MP Dr. Mehreen Faruqi said:
“The Government must immediately stop any sale of rail corridor land in Byron. It’s really concerning that part of the corridor is being sold off just for the sake of private developers building luxury apartments.
“I have written to the Minister urgently seeking clarification about how rail corridor land can be sold off without the required Act of Parliament. Are they trying to find a roundabout way of selling off precious public transport land? The Government must stop the sale and undermining of this rail corridor.
“People of the North Coast have been campaigning for a real public transport solution since the Labor Government closed the Casino-Murwillumbah line nearly 14 years ago. Keeping the rail corridor in public hands and restoration of regional rail services must be the priority, not private luxury apartment complexes,” she concluded.
MP Tamara Smith said:
“Keeping the rail corridors in our region in public hands is vital. These spaces belong to the community and are common land corridors for transport and public use – they ought never be sold off to developers. Once you start down that path there is no going back.
“Our rail corridors are public places and public spaces that should never be privatised because they belong to the community in perpetuity,” she concluded.