Train, climate change key election issues: Greens

Greens candidate for the state seat of Lismore, Andy Gough (front), with Greens MLC Lee Rhiannon, Andys wife Georgie and other Greens supporters on the mini-rail in Heritage Park, the only train running in Lismore, to launch Mr Goughs election campaign.

The Greens have vowed to re-instate the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line immediately and put commuter trains on the track if elected at the state election in March 2007, says Greens candidate for the seat of Lismore, Andy Gough.

Launching his campaign on Friday in Heritage Park with a ride on the mini-rail the only train left in Lismore Mr Gough says the Greens have met with a local railway engineer who says the track is in relatively good repair and the train could be up and running in two weeks time with an outlay of less than $500,000. Mr Gough claims the materials for repairs have already been purchased and are stored locally, greatly reducing the cost of re-instating the train.

Mr Gough says the train would provide tourists, low-income earners and the disabled with affordable transport and would take cars and trucks off the road having the two-fold benefit of making the roads safer and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate change is the number one issue and public transport is a vital part of an overall strategy to reduce our carbon footprint and ensure our grandchildren and their children inherit a planet thats still habitable, Mr Gough said. In the long-term we want to move NSW away from dependence on coal and we have a target to ensure 20 per cent of the states electricity is generated from renewable energy sources by 2012. We want to encourage investment in renewable technologies such as solar and wind, and develop local manufacturing industries and jobs in renewable energy technologies. We also want to increase rebates for solar installation.

Mr Gough has lived and worked in the Northern Rivers since 2000, is a graphic designer with The Echo and lives with his wife Georgie on a two acre property at Larnook. He has been a Greens candidate twice before in the Northern Territory in the 1998 federal election and in 2000 for the state seat of Port Darwin.

All policies of the Greens NSW are now available for viewing at www.nsw.greens.org.au.


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