Group calls for rail study
A GROUP representing seven northern NSW councils wants the state government to expand a rail study into a broader public transport study for the region.
Northern Rivers Organisation for Councils represents Lismore, Kyogle, Tweed, Clarence Valley, Byron, Ballina and Richmond Valley councils.
The organisation's president councillor Phillip Silver said improving public transport was a priority for all LGAs and a study was required.
"(The state government) are doing a $2-million study into re-establishing the Casino-Murwillumbah railway line in the coming months. We want a regional public transport study incorporated into that study," Cr Silver said.
"NOROC was hoping 2012 would see the development of an integrated regional transport plan for the Northern Rivers, but the NSW government has said it wants to complete the NSW long term transport master plan before it embarks on regional plans," Cr Silver said.
"I acknowledge the State Government's desire to complete the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan which will identify the direction of transport development over the next 20 years."
Cr Silver said the council had $140,000 to fund a study.
"We have federal, state and local governments building transport infrastructure and we need a plan," he said.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest said incorporating a broader transport study into the railway study was not a good idea.
"I think it should be separate," Mr Provest said.
Mr Provest said studies were more successful when they were focused on specific outcomes.
"The larger it becomes the more money will be needed," he said.
"If it's expanded it will be far greater than $2 million."
Mr Provest said it took a long time to get the commitment for the rail study.