Regional transport links miss out

A TRANSPORT plan connecting rail, train and bus services on the Northern Rivers has not been funded by the NSW state government.

The Northern Rivers Regional Organisation of Councils (NOROC) had been lobbying the NSW government for the development of a Northern Rivers regional transport strategy.

The organisation represents Lismore, Kyogle, Tweed, Clarence Valley, Byron, Ballina and Richmond Valley councils and is a member of an advisory group providing input to the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan.

NOROC president Cr Phillip Silver said he had hoped the NSW Government would commit to a plan for the Northern Rivers this year.

However, he said: "The NSW Government has said it wants to complete the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan before it embarks on regional plans." .

He said he was disappointed with the decision, as a lack of connectivity in transport infrastructure meant Northern Rivers commuters lose out.

"A classic example is the CountryLink buses. They serve rail passengers out of Casino but part of the agreement is they're not able to pick up intra-regional passengers," Cr Silver said.

He will ask the government to expand a study on the cost of restoring the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line to cover other transport.

"They're in the region looking at transport issues so we will ask if our integrated study could be incorporated."

Cr Silver said there are great opportunities to link transport in the Northern Rivers with growth areas in Queensland.

"It's the integration of road, rail and aviation for us that's critical," Cr Silver said.

"We're a little bit unique compared to the other regions in the state in our relationship with Queensland so we want a plan that reacts and responds to what they're doing there also."



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