Costa backs joint govt XPT proposal

By MEGAN KINNINMENT

THE Casino to Murwillumbah XPT service may have been cancelled long ago, but the XPT still has momentum, if only as a political hot potato.

Yesterday, NSW Transport Minister Michael Costa backed on local radio a community-led proposal to extend the line from northern NSW into south-east Queensland, but only on the condition that it be funded jointly by NSW, the Commonwealth and Queensland governments.

However, both Federal Transport Minister and Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson and Queensland Transport Minister Paul Lucas quickly passed the hot XPT-potato back to Mr Costa, say- ing they could not respond to a concept unless there was a solid proposal on the table.

A spokesperson for Mr Anderson ruled out Commonwealth assistance for a passenger service.

"Passenger services are a State responsibility," the spokesperson said.



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