THE time it takes to travel to Sydney from Orange via train will never be fast enough to attract regular travel unless a new rail line is built, which is too expensive for the state government, according to Orange mayor John Davis.
Speaking at Thursday’s transport forum, Cr Davis said the CountryLink service was more suitable for tourism and leisurely travel to metropolitan areas rather than regular journeys.
“You’ve got to be practical and it’s got to be affordable,” he said.
“The rail link suffers because of the route it’s built on.
“From Orange to Bathurst the time is horrendous.”
Orange City Council made a combined submission to the state’s transport master plan with the Centroc group of councils.
Expanding electric rail to Orange was one of 24 items on the wishlist for the region.
Cr Davis said he was not concerned Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian was unaware of the proposed $13.9million Orange airport expansion, despite the council counting on funds from the state government.
“She’d have that many things on her plate,” he said.
“The application goes through the federal government with funding contributions from a number of other parties.”
Cr Davis said the council met with Roads Minister Duncan Gay on Thursday to discuss the expansion of the airport.
“We’re starting to get a better understanding of the cooperation and partnership with the new government,” he said.
“It takes a while for a new government to find its feet and for mayors and general managers to get an understanding of what processes are, and they go about it.
“We’ve been very buoyed by the support from our local member Andrew Gee.”
Cost shifting from the state government to local government was an ongoing issue that the council would have to live with, Cr Davis said.
“It is happening and it’s something that I can’t see is going to change,” he said.
“It’s probably going to force councils to amalgamate as a result and that’s disappointing.”