Recent articles in the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times about the Korumburra Business Association have promoted their support for a plan to extend the rail trail from Leongatha to Korumburra and further toward Melbourne.
It sounds like a fine project with the rail trail commuters being a source of increased revenue for Korumburra businesses but is of little advantage to others in the area.
The Korumburra Business Association does a great job for Korumburra but they do not represent the majority of the shire’s population.
Other residents within the shire have been lobbying local and state government for years to have the rail service to Melbourne returned.
A regular response to that request is that the railway easement and track base have deteriorated to such an extent since the service was closed that the expense of reinstating it would be prohibitive.
The decommissioning of the rail line from Leongatha to Nyora at this time would result in a similar response in the future, to even a local rail service.
Times have changed and we are having to deal with the vagaries of very erratic weather effecting farm production returns as well as increased prices for fuel.
In the long term the return of the rail service to Melbourne would be a boon to South Gippsland by providing a safe inexpensive means of travel for children, adults and older residents.
In the meantime reinstating the Nyora to Leongatha tourist rail service and running it a few days a week would provide at least some public transport between local towns and localities which don’t even have the luxury of a bus service.
Elizabeth M (Libby) Lambert, Bena.