HANDS OFF OUR COUNTRYLINK RAIL SERVICES!!

HANDS OFF OUR COUNTRYLINK RAIL SERVICES!!

HANDS OFF OUR COUNTRYLINK RAIL SERVICES!!

5 November 2003

Thomas George MP and Shadow Transport Services Minister, Mike Gallacher met this morning with concerned constituents Lismore Railway Station to discuss the impact of proposals to cancel CountryLink passenger rail services.

The Interim Report of the Parry Inquiry into Public Passenger Transport has already recommended replacing some CountryLink rail services with buses, and it is highly likely that the Labor Government will cancel country passenger rail services. These could include the Sydney-Brisbane and Sydney-Murwillumbah XPTs, which service a number of local communities including Casino, Lismore and Kyogle.

Mr George said that he has spoken to many angry constituents, who are totally dependant on CountryLink rail services in order to attend ongoing medical appointments, social events or school excursions just to name a few.

"I am promoting a petition calling on the Sydney Labor Government to maintain and improve the quality of our country rail services, to ensure that these stay in operation. I will be tabling the completed petitions in Parliament," Mr George said.

Mr Gallacher said "The Government must manage country passenger rail services more effectively than they do now. Passenger numbers have continued to decline because Labor has failed to make the necessary investment in rolling stock and infrastructure."

"Improving the quality of services will attract passengers back to rail ensuring the future viability of the CountryLink network. But instead Labor seems to be opting for the `it's all too hard, so just shut it down' approach."

Mr George said "The replacement of country passenger services with buses and private vehicles could increase the incidence of road accidents. It will certainly increase road traffic and maintenance costs.

"Any money the Government saves from axing trains will simply have to go into maintaining roads."

"I strongly urge local residents to make their views known and to send a big `hands off!' to Sydney-centric Labor."

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577