© istockphoto.com/ Mihails Jershovs

'Forget Casino link, bring Qld rail'

FORMER Kingscliff chamber of commerce chief Rose Wright, now an academic with Southern Cross University, says rail campaigners would be better off pushing for an extension of commuter rail services from Queensland than a return of the Murwillumbah to Casino train.

But she has warned the push better start now so that a future route can be set aside for the line alongside an upgraded Pacific Highway at Sexton Hill.

“We may miss our chance unless we get the planning done now,” said Ms Rose, who is manager of industry development at the university's school of tourism.

She raised the prospect of a commuter line following major road links down the coast to Ballina at a regional transport summit earlier this week.

“I suggested we should follow the highway down as far as Chinderah, then go to Cudgen, Kingscliff and down the Tweed Coast road,” Ms Wright said.

“Then maybe connect back with the railway corridor to Byron and eventually down the highway to Ballina.

“It could be a staged development. It would utilize existing road corridors because land acquisitions are significant issue.

“It would integrate infrastructure into one corridor.”

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