Fight for rail back on track
A RALLY yesterday to bring train services back to Murwillumbah failed to get even one candidate for the town’s electorate on board.
Candidates for the seats of Tweed and Ballina fronted the rally organised by the Trains On our Tracks (TOOT) lobby group at the old Murwillumbah railway station, but those hoping to represent the seat of Lismore, which includes Murwillumbah, failed to show.
Sitting Nationals MP Thomas George sent apologies, as did independent candidate Russell Kilarney and Greens candidate Susan Stock. Labor’s Andrew Moy was also a no-show.
But that didn’t stop the candidates for Tweed, including Nationals MP Geoff Provest and the Greens’ Andrea Vickers telling Murwillumbah locals how much they supported the return of train services axed by the Labor Government in 2004.
They were supported by Greens candidate for Ballina Simon Richardson, independent Karin Kolbe and visiting Greens Senator-elect Lee Rhiannon.
“Some four-and-a-half years ago I stood on this track. At that time I committed to fight to bring back the train,” said Mr Provest, who has come under fire for watering down that promise to simply provide $1million for a study.
“We have not wavered,” he continued.
He said “the big thing that had changed was the decision by the Queensland Government to extend the heavy rail track from Robina to the Gold Coast Airport car park and light rail from Southport to Coolangatta via the airport.
Mr Provest said that would make the Casino to Murwillumbah line and its extension to Coolangatta viable, but the NSW government had not done the necessary planning.