Nats Must Grow a Backbone and Stop New England Rail Closures

The Liberal Party wants to turn new England's railways into a bike path, but the National Party is running dead on the issue.

Looking north from Armidale railway station

Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party Northern Tablelands spokesman David Good called on National Party MP Adam Marshall to grow a backbone and actively oppose the closure of New England rail lines for a new rail trail.

Mr Good’s calls come ahead of community consultation meetings on the proposal scheduled to be held next week.

“When we have a Federal Government embarking on a new Inland Rail Link we don’t need rail lines closed, we need them kept open and upgraded,” Mr Good said.

“Adam Marshall holding true to form when National Party MPs come in conflict with Liberal Party policies – they just roll over and do whatever the city Liberal Party tells them to do.

“Rather than running dead on this issue, Mr Marshall needs to grow a backbone and fight for the community. What’s the use of the Nationals having a seat at the Cabinet table if it’s empty when it comes to key decisions affecting rural people?”

Mr Good suggested that if these lines were properly upgraded they could act as a back-up line for the Federal Government’s Inland Rail Link, or even allow the New England region rail access to it.

“My concern is that once this rail line is gone, it will be gone forever.

“With these rail trails the land will become Crown Land instead of a gazetted rail line, and with new changes to legislation the Government can easily pass on this land to the highest bidder.

“This is a risk not only for this current Liberal Party and National Party Government, but also if Labor returns to power.

“We need more rural infrastructure, not less. This is another failure by the National Party.”

Community consultation meetings will be held by the Department of Premier and Cabinet next week in Tenterfield (December 11) and Guyra (December 12). Full details can be found here:

Download David Good's press release here.

Download a list of the railway lines slated for closure.