Federal MP's drawn into rail row

THE row over the NSW Government's refusal to consider re-opening the Casino-to-Murwillumbah rail line and expand it to the Queensland border has taken another twist, embroiling both state and federal politicians.

State National Party MP for Lismore Thomas George, whose seat includes Murwillumbah, yesterday called on Federal Labor MP for Richmond Justine Elliot to provide him a “letter of support” for re-opening the line.

That followed Mrs Elliot's call for National Party state MPs to “start doing their job” and “start delivering on the transport needs of the North Coast”.

Mr George, who has been battling from the state opposition benches for the re-opening of the rail line, was outraged.

Last month the NSW Opposition, along with the Greens Party, failed to force the NSW Labor government to release a report from a task force on the rail link after the government said it was not finalised.

But a leaked draft released by Greens MP Lee Rhiannon showed the task force favoured the use of buses.

Mr George said he wanted to assure Mrs Elliot “the North Coast Nationals will keep pursuing the re-instatement of the North Coast rail service”.

“I want to challenge her to provide a letter of support for the re-instatement of the Casino-to-Murwillumbah rail link,” he added.

“I want her to give me a letter of support, as the Federal member, for the re-instatement and extension of the line under the federal econo-mic stimulus package.”

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