LIGHTS OUT: Lismore Train Station will essentially become a ‘lump of concrete’ according to union representatives.
LIGHTS OUT: Lismore Train Station will essentially become a ‘lump of concrete’ according to union representatives. Evan Malcom

Train stations closed, jobs axed across region

SKELETON service staff at our 'ghost' train stations - Lismore, Byron Bay and Murwillumbah -- are set to be axed altogether and station staff slashed at Casino.

Today rail workers were confronted with the out-of-the-blue announcement that a total of eleven coach and train station locations will be closed in regional and rural areas of NSW and a further 20 locations will have reduced man hours resulting in up to 60 job losses.

Unions are still scrambling to uncover the details for our local rail workers.

Richard Mehrtens, a spokesperson for Rail, Tram and Bus Union confirmed customer service attendants who sell tickets and help tourists with luggage at Lismore, Byron Bay and Murwillumbah will be axed under the Baird government's proposal.

"Essentially, Lismore Train Station will just become a lump of concrete," he said.

"These station are places frequented by people who don't know the area very well, may be elderly and need help. There are also safety concerns associated with leaving large groups at an unattended station," he said.

"We do not know how many jobs are at risk in Casino but we could compare it to Albury train station, which we know via an insider tip-off, will go from seven full-time and three part-time staff, cut down to two full-time and several part-timers." he said.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union Secretary Alex Claassens, said "Ripping full-time jobs out of rural and regional communities and replacing them with fewer part-time positions will have flow on effects throughout the whole community."

"Moving staff from an eight hour job, down to just three hours part-time will create a new working poor who won't be able to afford to only have one job and will be forced to try and get other work, or just go without," he said.

The union will be visiting each and every station ear-marked for closure over the next two weeks to discuss the changes with affected staff and ensure that all workers are given the support they need.

The eleven locations to close include:

Blayney

Broken Hill

Byron Bay

Griffith

Lismore

Macksville

Murwillumbah

Nambucca Heads

Parkes

Wellington

Yass Junction

Locations set to be impacted by reduced staff include:

Albury

Armidale

Bathurst

Canberra

Casino

Coffs Harbour

Cootamundra

Dubbo

Goulburn

Grafton

Gunnedah

Junee

Kempsey

Narrabri

Orange

Tamworth

Taree

Wagga

Wauchope

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