Trains On Our Tracks has welcomed yesterday’s Centrelink Jobs Expo at Goonellabah as a meeting place for employers and job seekers, but TOOT says it is very aware that lack of transport options is often the main barrier to job seekers finding employment in this region.

“Lack of public transport is one of the largest barriers for many people accessing employment. Job-seekers and employment agencies tell us that they have vacancies and people for those jobs, but they simply can’t get there,” said Ms Karin Kolbe, TOOT president.

“Centrelink’s motto says ‘Giving you options’ – and that’s exactly what people here need in terms of transport. Many job seekers simply don’t have access to their own private transport.

“The Casino-Murwillumbah train line is the spine of a public transport system that links most of the towns and villages in our region, yet it sits idle thanks to government inaction. Getting trains on our tracks would give jobseekers and employers better choice.

“TOOT calls on the state government to establish commuter rail services on our line. Federal members Ms Saffin and Ms Elliot need to take a leading role in solving chronic transport issues in the region.

“Ms Saffin’s proposal for an Integrated Regional Transport Plan has yet to get started, let alone yield any results for north coast residents.

“Job seekers are tired of the federal-state blame game and just want to work.

“The federal government is funding transport projects on the Gold Coast and elsewhere in our region, yet existing rail infrastructure goes unused.”