Town keeps fighting to save historic link to its past
GLENREAGH residents won't take 'no' for an answer when it comes to their 102-year-old railway station, which many fear to be slated for demolition.
Earlier this year, the Australian Rail Track Corporation refused to renew the lease agreement it had with Glenreagh Mountain Railway.
Heritage rail enthusiast Brian Leedham, like many people in the township that trades on its history, was dismayed at the news.
"There are a lot of people in town who had family who worked at that station. The news the buildings might be pushed over hit a lot of people pretty hard,” he said.
Mr Leedham has contacted Clarence Valley Council to see if there are heritage matters that residents use in their plans.
"I spoke with a couple of people at the council, Debbie Wray and Scott Lenton,” he said.
"Scott said the council would talk with ARTC near the end of October, which is pretty close now.”
Mr Leedham noted there appeared to be mixed messages from ARTC to proposals to take control of the Glenreagh Station.
He said the ARTC, in an email to Mr Lenton, wrote: "The ARTC is aware of their statutory obligations and will liaise with council in relation to any future plans for the site/facility. Further, the ARTC has indicated that they are prepared to have discussions in regard to the use and maintenance of the facility, especially if it can be funded and managed by a body other than ARTC.”
But privately, ARTC has told Mr Leedham: "As previously advised to you, the Glenreagh Station and surrounds are not available for lease.
"ARTC has entered into a licence arrangement with Glenreagh Mountain Railway in order that they may retrieve equipment and rolling stack belonging to that organisation as resources become available.”
Mr Leedham said public support for the station was gratifying. His Facebook page Save the Glenreagh Railway Station Precinct has 400 members, and an online petition has 1000 signatures.