A proposed rail trail between Queanbeyan and Bombala in NSW has the potential to inject more than $24 million in tourism dollars into the local area if it gets the go ahead.
Snowy Monaro Regional Council along with the NSW State Government are investigating the feasibility of recreational trail on the disused railway to help determine the practicality and viability of converting the public asset.
The rail corridor is currently owned by the state government.
The proposed trail would link the Canberra Valley, Michelago, Bredbo, Cooma, Nimmitable (across the Great Dividing Range) and Bombala.
It would also include several heritage-listed bridges, a 160 metre tunnel, heritage listed stations and unique rural landscapes.
The pastoral story and heritage of the region is also visible through properties and remnants of the earlier role of the railway to transport wool and other produce making it rate highly as a tourism asset.
A study into the proposed rail trail conducted by Transplan Pty. Ltd. found it had the potential to attract both national and international tourists, injecting millions into the regional economy and stimulating business and job growth.
The council is now seeking feedback from the community on the draft feasibility report for the Monaro Rail Trail.
Feedback is open until 5pm, Wednesday 22 January.
As it stands, there are virtually no rail trails in NSW primarily due to complex issues unique to NSW.
However, with small amendments to existing legislation and a rail trail funding program, the NSW government and community can reap the benefits of improved local amenity and cycling tourism.
Bicycle Network supports the development, pilot and creation of rail trails across NSW for their economic, tourism, recreation and health benefits.
Rail trails and opportunities to develop cycling tourism across NSW will be a key ask of our budget submission in 2020-21 as it was in 2019-20.