Carr?s line a big ?no?, says Page

By ZOE SATHERLEY

A BIG fat zero is the Carr Labor Government's attitude to getting trains back on the Casino-toMurwillumbah train line, Ballina MP Don Page said yesterday.

Trains were nowhere to be seen in its response to a parliamentary report into the future of the line, released on Budget day on Tuesday.

Mr Page, NSW shadow minister for the North Coast, has slammed the Government's failure to support three key recommendations to bring a service back to the Northern Rivers (see right).

"Premier Bob Carr and Transport Minister John Watkins have made it clear they have no intention of reinstating our vital train service, despite making a $1.5 billion commitment in the State Budget to buy air-conditioned rail carriages for Sydney," he said.

Mr Page said the Government's disinterest in non-metropolitan rail services was in stark contrast to the approach taken north of the border.

The Queensland Government recently committed $500 million for a new rail line to Coolangatta, and has a $24.5 billion transport plan for South-East Queensland.

He said the Liberal/Nationals Coalition has vowed to reinstate a rail service if elected in March.

Karin Kolbe, spokeswoman for Northern Rivers Trains for the Future, said her group was bitterly disappointed by the lack of vision displayed by the Labor Government, and the neglect of the real need for rail transport in the region.

Lismore MP Thomas George said the fight to reinstate a train service was not over. In Lismore next week he will meet the working party set up by the Government to look at options for the Casino-to-Murwillumbah rail line.



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