Don't forget the railway: Barham

BYRON Mayor Cr Jan Barham has called on the Federal Government not to overlook the reinstatement of the Casino to Murwillumbah rail service in its infrastructure considerations.

“The loss of the rail service was a short-sighted view that disregarded the needs of our community for a transport service that is equitable and environmentally responsible,” she said.

“Byron Shire is a community desperately in need of transport infrastructure to help residents travel throughout the region for work and education and assist visitors to explore and experience our beautiful the region.

“The reinstatement of the rail service is a major infrastructure project that would benefit the whole of the community and also meet important environmental targets.”

Cr Barham welcomed the Federal Government's announcement to provide additional education infrastructure funds and looked forward to seeing the benefits flow on into local communities.

She said while schools were a vital cornerstone of the community, she urged the State and Federal governments not to forget transport infrastructure and allocate additional funds to regional public transport.

“Byron Shire Council welcomes the allocation of $609,000 from the Federal infrastructure funding and will allocate the entire amount to implement key aspects of the newly adopted 'Bike Friendly Shire' plan,” she said.

“The funding will provide an additional five cycleways in 2009 and clearly demonstrates our commitment to providing environmentally friendly transport and supporting community requests.

“There will be bikeways provided for Mullumbimby, Ocean Shores and Byron Bay to connect vital areas of the towns, with a special focus on the needs of youth.”

The council is awaiting the outcome of Federal funding applications for the $14 million Ewingsdale Sports and Cultural Facility.

The facility encompasses multi-use sporting fields, an indoor recreation facility and visitor information centre.

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