Tasmania's North-West Coastal Pathway – identified for a decade as one of Australia’s great coastal rides – today received its first major joint funding by state and local government.
The Hodgman Government, and the Burnie and the Waratah-Wynyard councils will spend $3.7 million turning the disused rail corridor between Burnie and Wynyard into a shared pathway.
Bicycle Network has campaigned strongly with community groups, councils and the Cradle Coast Authority to secure funding for the pathway.
The pathway, which already has sections completed by the Burnie, Central Coast and Devonport councils, has been championed by the region for the past decade.
The 25km western section between Wynyard and Burnie will add to the momentum to filling in more of the missing gaps that will eventually join with Port Sorell and Latrobe in the east.
Burnie and Waratah-Wynyard applied last year for federal Stronger Regions funding for the project but were knocked back.
Central Coast Council has another proposal to restore the heritage-listed Forth River railway bridge to connect its section of the pathway to Devonport.
There has been a concerted grassroots community campaign to secure funding for the entire pathway, led by the Coastal Pathway Coalition and the Cradle Coast Authority.
The pathway plan is more than a decade old, was hatched during the period Roger Jaensch was executive director of the Authority.
Today, as a Liberal member for Braddon, he jointly announced the funding in Burnie with Premier Will Hodgman, Burnie Mayor Anita Dow and Waratah-Wynyard Mayor Robbie Walsh.
The big leap forward in seeking funding was a meeting at Turners Beach earlier this year, when the Coalition, the Cradle Coast Authority, Bicycle Network, and Roger Jaensch put the case directly to the Premier.