RURAL AND REGIONAL RAILWAY STATIONS ABANDONED BY INEFFECTIVE NATIONAL PARTY
Jodi McKay MP
Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure
Tuesday 29 March 2016
Residents in rural and regional NSW are set to lose out again as the Baird - Grant Government sneaks through its plans to close train stations and reduce the number of hours stations are staffed.
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.
Despite the wide ranging impacts to safety and accessibility, the Government is yet to provide any details or engage in direct consultation with impacted communities.
Residents with a disability and the elderly are among those most likely to feel the pain of the National’s inaction. A lack of staff will impact those requiring assistance boarding and disembarking train as well as providing up to date and reliable information.
The inability of the National Party to defend the interests of regional and rural communities will impact those towns reliant upon tourism to help fund their local economy.
Towns like Byron Bay, Parkes, Dubbo, Coffs Harbour and Tamworth that are heavily reliant on tourism will see a marked strain on their economy as tourists using the rail service to arrive and depart the towns become inconvenienced.
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 • Sydney Booking Office
Quotes Attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport Jodi McKay
“The Baird/Grant Government has forced the needs of regional and rural communities to the back seat yet again.
“This is a decision that has been made by a Liberal Premier, a Liberal Treasurer and a Liberal Transport Minister with no fight back from National Party members.
“The National Party talks a big game about standing up for rural and regional communities but when it comes time to step up they’re nowhere to be found.
“The ineffectiveness of the National Party is going to hit hardest for the elderly and residents with a disability who rely on rail to get around.
“It’s time the National Party stopped talking about rural and regional community issues and started acting to fix them.”