12 MONTH SUSPENDED SENTENCE ON COUNTRYLINK - THE BATTLE IS NOT OVER YET!

12 MONTH SUSPENDED SENTENCE ON COUNTRYLINK - THE BATTLE IS NOT OVER YET!

12 MONTH SUSPENDED SENTENCE ON COUNTRYLINK - THE BATTLE IS NOT OVER YET!

9 December 2003

"Today's backdown by the Carr Labor Government is nothing more a 12 month stay of execution on their plans to axe Countrylink rail services. The fight is far from over," said The Nationals Thomas George, Member for Lismore.

"I especially say to the local residents who have signed my Countrylink petition that your voice counts. I have tabled these petitions in Parliament and the Government was forced to hear your concerns about Countrylink. Your vocal public support and signing of that petition has, so far, postponed the axing of our rail services."

"But we must not let down our guard," Mr George cautioned.

"The Labor Government is going to review these services for the next 12 months and may try to shut them down then. We have to make sure that they are aware that the local community won't let them!"

"I urge local residents to take every opportunity to use Countrylink rail services during this period so that the Minister knows that you support them."

"If you haven't signed the Countrylink petition please call into my office to do so. Your views will be tabled in Parliament."

"The Government must also do a better job of advertising and promoting Countrylink rail services, to both local residents and tourists."

"Investment in rolling stock and infrastructure is urgently needed. Planning for new rolling stock to replace the XPT fleet from 2010 must be put in place now."

"Other issues such as improved timetabling so that Countrylink rail services connect with other modes of transport, and each other, more efficiently should also be addressed."

"I am also concerned about the future employment of Countrylink staff, given that Labor have plans for `restructuring'. Michael Costa has to come clean and tell us just what exactly this means and provide reassurance for employees."

"On balance our community can claim a small victory, but the fight against Michael Costa to keep our Countrylink rail services is not over yet," Mr George concluded.

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