A new rail trail in NSW is one step closer after legislation passed last week in the Lower House for the Northern Rivers Rail Trail.
Turning the 130 kilometres of disused rail corridor between Casino and Bentley and between Crabbes Creek and Condong in the Tweed into a cycling and walking corridor may now become a reality, with all four councils in support.
In order to officially close the rail line which has been non-operational since 2004, the legislation now just needs to pass the Upper House on 13 October.
Similar legislation was passed unanimously in 2018 to allow for NSW's first rail trail to be constructed between Rosewood and Tumbarumba.
We know from this pilot program, and from the many rail trails in other states with less complicated legislative requirements, that these projects can provide huge booms in regional tourism and local business.
To this point, MP for Lismore Janelle Saffin stated that the rail trail "will result in much-needed economic activity in the area ... it will be an added bonus and will provide infrastructure jobs that will do a lot to help the local economy.”
MP for Tweed Geoff Provest agreed, adding “there are so many businesses surrounding that rail trail that are just yearning to get to work, from the little villages and the artisans to the tourism operators.”
And Shadow Minister for Active Transport Jo Haylen, described the Northern Rivers Rail Trail project as shovel ready and that “it will have a positive effect on local jobs and the economy, just when the region needs it most.”
For all the supporters of rail trails in NSW, Bicycle Network encourages you to get in contact with your local MP and share your support for the Northern Rivers Rail Trail project before it is debated in the Upper House next week.
Once the legislation has passed through the Upper House, the Tweed Shire and Richmond Valley Councils will be free to see who can open their prospective section of glorious new rail trail first.
The below map of the trail is from the Northern Rivers Rail Trail organisation website, as is the feature image.LEARN MORE
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.