Trains On Our Tracks (TOOT) organiser Basil Cameron at Murwillumbah Railway Station.
Trains On Our Tracks (TOOT) organiser Basil Cameron at Murwillumbah Railway Station. John Gass

Greens on track for state election

THE Greens have become the only major political party to promise to put trains back on the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line ahead of the March 26 state election.

Greens Upper House candidate Jeremy Buckingham has specifically listed the re-opening of the rail line as part of his party’s plan for regional NSW.

He said the Greens would also restore and expand CountryLink as a rail-based service “with the intention of reopening rail services that have been phased out in favour of coach services”.

Greens candidate for Tweed Andrea Vickers said yesterday hers was the only party with a specific policy to reinstate the rail line and attacked Nationals member for Tweed Geoff Provest over his downgrading of a promise four years ago to do the same.

“That $100 million promise for Northern NSW rail has become a $1 million feasibility study now that it looks like they might be called to implement the promise,” Ms Vickers said.

“Mr Provest knows that his party doesn’t stack up on this issue.

“He cannot guarantee that as a junior member of a minor party in Sydney, he will be able to get any traction on rail up here.

“We have a specific policy to reinstate the Murwillumbah-Casino line, because we know it’s the lifeblood of the region and we need it back.”

Ms Vickers claimed “a lack of political will to find rail solutions for the Northern Rivers” and a “preference for building road infrastructure” was “influenced by road freight and petrol industry lobby groups”.

In releasing his party’s policy for public transport Mr Buckingham said regional areas of NSW needed a safe, reliable and affordable public transport system.



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