Labor candidate for Bathurst talks roads, rail at BMEC conference

by Katelyn Kurtz

Labor candidate Beau Riley (left) discussed transport needs for regional NSW, alongside Shooters Fishers and Farmer’s candidate Brenden May. Photo: Katelyn Kurtz

Labor Candidate Beau Riley said he would push for better rail services to regional NSW, as well as additional funding to fix the regions roads, if elected.

Several state election candidates for the Bathurst region spoke at the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre (BMEC) on Wednesday night, discussing issues such as transport, health, education, and disability services.

The conference, just days before the NSW state election on Saturday the 23rdof March, offered community members another opportunity to ask candidates about their topics of concern.

Audience members called for more roads funding, as well as a rail service for transporting produce and other goods between regional and coastal areas. 

Mr Riley discussed Labor’s plans for the region, but doubted his chances at being elected, saying he plans to go back to his job as police prosecutor “once all of this is over”.

Rail transport has seen something of a comeback in the region in recent years, after the re-establishment of a passenger rail service to Sydney, affectionately known as the Bathurst Bullet.

The express service runs daily to and from Sydney via the Blue Mountains line, and demand for the service exceeded initial expectations.

Greens candidate David Harvey, and Shooters, Fishers and Farmer’s candidate Brenden May, both supported rail as an efficient and sustainable method of transport. 

Timothy Hansen, Keep Sydney Open candidate, added that he prefers rail transport to road, and would push for more passenger rail services to regional areas. 

Community members attending the conference had the chance to voice their concerns to candidates. Photo: Katelyn Kurtz