LABOR RAIL BACKFLIP DELIVERS SOME HOPE FOR CASINO-MURWILLUMBAH RAIL

LABOR RAIL BACKFLIP DELIVERS SOME HOPE FOR CASINO-MURWILLUMBAH RAIL

“…need to be cautious, sceptical and vigilant…”

9 November 2009

Amendments to a NSW Government rail sale bill have eased the threat to the Casino to Murwillumbah rail corridor and are a significant win for the local community, according to Lismore Nationals MP Thomas George.

“A sustained community campaign culminating in a mass rally we attended outside Parliament House last month have force the NSW Government to amend its bill to sell off disused rail corridors to developers,” Mr George said.

“New amendments include provisions which limit the sell-off of scrap metal and sleepers; retain the requirement for Parliament to make the final decision; promise more community consultation; and impose a 15 year gap between the last train running and the sell-off.”

Mr George said the last provision meant that the Casino to Murwillumbah line which Labor closed in 2004 was theoretically safe for another ten years.

“Labor has broken a series of promises about the Casino to Murwillumbah line in the recent past, so we need to be cautious, sceptical and vigilant in relation to these latest assurances,” Mr George insisted.

“Nevertheless this is a major win for the community campaign, including train lobby group TOOT, the Greens and the local community.

“The Nationals took a policy to the 2007 election which would have seen the line reopen with six light rail services a day and planning for the extension of the line from Murwillumbah to the Gold Coast.

“My North Coast Nationals colleagues and I are pushing for a similar policy for the 2011 election.

“How long that takes to implement will depend on the condition of the State finances we inherit from this economically incompetent administration when we win Government,” 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