CARR GETS IT WRONG ON CASINO-MURWILLUMBAH RAIL SERVICE

CARR GETS IT WRONG ON CASINO-MURWILLUMBAH RAIL SERVICE

CARR GETS IT WRONG ON CASINO-MURWILLUMBAH RAIL SERVICE

5 May 2004

The Nationals' Member for Lismore, Thomas George, launched a scathing attack on the Labor Premier in NSW Parliament today over his withdrawal of the Casino to Murwillumbah rail service.

Mr George asked the Premier to explain why he is treating the people of the North Coast as second class citizens by boasting about his $2.5 billion injection into CityRail while at the same time closing down the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line. This is despite the fact that CountryLink farebox revenue returns proportionately more than of CityRail.

"Unbelievably, the Premier attempted to shift the focus of the question to the upgrade of the Pacific Highway, not realising that the Pacific Highway does not run the same route as the Casino-Murwillumbah rail line," Mr George said.

The Premier continued to fumble in his response, citing inaccurate patronage figures and incorrect costs to keep the service running. In recent weeks even the Labor Member for Tweed, Neville Newell has acknowledged that these figures being quoted by Sydney Labor are inaccurate.

"The Nationals strongly oppose the closure of the Casino-Murwillumbah rail line. It is a short-sighted and negligent decision by Sydney Labor," Mr George said.

"365 passengers patronise the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line each day. This equates to 133,000 passengers a year.

"If all of these passengers used bus services instead, there would be an additional 2,900 buses on the road each year.

"The Premier's lack of understanding of the Casino-Murwillumbah rail line is a disgrace. The people of the Northern Rivers will not accept being fobbed off by Sydney Labor.

"This debate is about saving vital regional infrastructure and services. The Premier must honour the promise he made last year," Mr George said.

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