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The New South Wales Government has rejected claims proposed legislation will mean a large sell-off of rail lines and corridors.
The Government's Rail Trails Bill is now before State Parliament.
If passed it will allow the Minister to authorise the closure of rail lines on a case-by-case basis after public consultation and dispose of the assets, without a special act of Parliament.
The Member for Murrumbidgee, Adrian Piccoli, says the Coalition will oppose the bill.
"The Government are really using this as the trojan horse to allow this state-wide legislation to come into place to give them the flexibility to close lines and ultimately to sell that land so the rail trail is simply being used as an excuse," he said.
"If the intention of this legislation was simply to address that issue of the rail trail in and around Wagga, then specific legislation for that rail line can be introduced but the Government are using that as an excuse to introduce legislation that will essentially see every single rail line across NSW available to be closed."
Transport Minister David Campbell says the bill will allow for the best economic use of disused lines.
"There is absolutely no intention of a wholesale sell-off of the 3,000 odd kilometres of disused rail lines in NSW," he said.
"There is a strong push in a number of locations and certainly in the Riverina for the conversion of some sections of disused rail lines for rail trails as an economic development initiative and I'm simply trying to put in place some legislation that would facilitate that.
"This initiative is about better economic use of currently disused lines and lines that may become disused in the future but it's not a mechanism of itself to take decisions as to the operations of lines that are currently operating."
Mr Campbell expects the bill will move to the Upper House of Parliament at the end of this month.
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