Passenger link is unwanted freight

REINSTATING the Casino to Murwillumbah rail service 'will not happen' in the near future, according to Labor Duty MLC for Ballina, Amanda Fazio.

During a visit to the region last week, Ms Fazio said she did not support the sale of the rail link. But she also said it was unlikely the line would ever again support a passenger service.

“The real problem is reinstating services on any line that doesn't carry freight,” she said.

“There has not been freight on that line for who knows how long.”

Ms Fazio said there eventually could be 'some kind of transport option' on the rail line.

“However, I don't think a passenger service between Casino and Murwillumbah is going to be a possibility in the near future,” she said.

“Line maintenance is very expensive. It will cost the State Government a lot just to get the track up to scratch.

“Another reason is that there was low patronage on the service.”

Despite her lack of support for the rail link, Ms Fazio has vowed to lobby for the return of another valuable local service - the BreastScreen van.

“I know that it is not on the Health Minister's agenda at the moment, but I intend to lobby for it to come back,” she said.

“I think preventative health care is very important.”

Ms Fazio denied that recent cuts to health jobs in the area had undermined the health system.

“People complain a lot about the health system,” she said. “But there are also a lot of people who are happy with our public hospitals.”

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