The Examiner Newspaper 14/07/2021



 NEW ROLE: Paul Cabalzar (centre) is the new chairman of the Launceston and North Eastern Railway. Picture: Supplied

Paul Cabalzar has taken on a new role after being appointed as chairman of Diesel Traction Tasmania Inc, the parent organisation of the Launceston and North Eastern Railway.

The Launceston and North Eastern Railway is a volunteer organisation and one of the main proponents of maintaining a heritage rail corridor through the state’s North East.

Recently, Mr Cabalzar was elected to the chairman role with a new committee including Michael De Bomford as deputy chairman.

The group’s annual general meeting also saw David Payne, Dianne Venn, Ken Morey, Ross Broomhall, Greg Stewart, John Best, Elizabeth Cutee, Wendy McLennan elected to the board.

“Together with a newly elected board and the enthusiastic members of the group he proposes to drive forward the goal of an operating tourist railway,” a group statement read.

“He sees this as contributing substantially to the economy of this region.”

Mr Cabalzar has been a long-time member in the group and has been involved with their lobbying efforts at government level.

Dorset Council debated a development application for the railway project earlier this year.

The council approved the application despite a petition of over a 1000 signatures against the application.

Part of the issue is that some people would like to see a bike trail while others, like the Launceston and North Eastern Railway group, want a heritage rail.

The disused rail corridor also runs through the farmland of several property owners and they don’t control the corridor because the corridor belongs to the state government.

Mr Cabalzar is one of those neighbouring property owners and feels a conversion of the line into a bike trail for example would hamper the surrounding farming operations.

“As a landowner adjoining the line he wishes to see retained the present amenity of the rail corridor for the benefit and privacy of the adjoining farmers and residents,” the statement read.

“The former having substantial investment in their farming operations which may be affected by conversion of the line to other uses involving unlimited public access.”

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