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MEMBER for Mallee Andrew Broad made a surprise appearance at Saturday’s passenger train rally but turned down the chance to make an impromptu speech.
Standing among the crowd as guest speakers discussed the future of passenger rail in the region, Mr Broad distanced himself from the train supporters’ standpoint, saying the passenger train could be Mildura Airport’s downfall.
“If we put a passenger train on, you possibly could lose 30 per cent airport patronage, (with the consequence) the loss of Virgin flights because you wouldn’t have enough (passengers) to fill a big plane,” he said.
“What would that do to the affordability and the services you get from air – it would gut them.
“I think you’d find it difficult to sustain both.”
However, NorthWest Rail Alliance president Christian Mitchell said rather than competing against each other, the airport and the passenger rail would “work together” for the benefit of the community.
“I don’t believe that’s true that the airport will suffer,” he said in response to Mr Broad’s comments.
This article first appeared on www.sunraysiadaily.com.au
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