Rail talks back on track
By NERIDA BLOK
IN AN unexpected move John Watkins wants to get up close and personal with Northern Rivers residents.
The State Minister for Transport will visit the region this Friday, keen to understand the issues surrounding the now closed Casino to Murwillumbah XPT rail service.
It could signal a major change in the State Government's handling of the issue.
His predecessor, Michael Costa, never visited the region after deciding to axe the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line in May last year.
Now is seems Mr Watkins is treating the trip as a personal chance to 'look, listen and learn' from Northern Rivers residents.
"It's important he get a first-hand impression of the issues," a spokeswoman for Mr Watkins said.
Arriving by train in Casino at 4am, she said the Minister would meet with representatives from the Richmond Valley, Kyogle and Lismore councils, Northern Rivers Regional Organisation of Councils (NOROC) and Northern Rivers Trains for the Future in Murwillumbah mid-morning.