In May 2013, the not for profit community group, Northern Rivers Rail Trail Association Inc, was formed by local philanthropists known as the Sourdough Group, community volunteers, local government councillors and staff and leaders of the tourist industry. The group came together with a common vision to preserve this very valuable community asset, the 130km of disused rail corridor between Murwillumbah and Casino and converting it to a modern cycle and walking trail through the region’s spectacular landscapes. The Rail Trail will be for the local community to use for getting to school, work and sport, shopping and recreation and by visitors seeking either a new way to experience the region’s scenery, food and culture or a more adventurous experience.
This valuable community asset must not continue to go to waste.
We must have a good point. We already have nearly 4000 supporters signed up and prior to the last Federal Election all House of Representative candidates, no matter their party, supported the concept of a rail trail.
All four councils(Tweed, Byron, Lismore and Richmond Valley) along the proposed Northern Rivers Rail Trail area now support the project along with other surrounding local authorities Ballina and Kyogle.
To provide a team of experts, a “meeting place” and process to ensure the Northern Rivers rail corridor from Murwillumbah to Casino is protected in the long term. To be on top of the issues, well informed and focused on outcomes that work well for the region’s community. To ensure practical and achievable outcomes are at the fore of our activities.
- Preserve the corridor for future generations
- To deliver the best outcome for the region’s community.
- To ensure we represent a broad cross-section of community views.
- To deliver a walking and cycling trail that is compatible with short and long term active transport needs of the region including commuter light rail where practical.
- To deliver a funding approach and business plan that will not be a burden to local government or the community.
- To link and help unite the region’s villages and towns.
- To provide residents of all ages of our community with opportunities for intra and inter village commuter access.
- To provide an opportunity to shift the visitor market from partying to adventure and good health and to distribute visitors throughout the region.
- To deliver many and varied business opportunities and jobs.
Patron for The Northern Rivers Rail Trail
The Right Honourable JD Anthony AC CH
Doug Anthony (31 December 1929 – 20 December 2020), AC, CH, former Deputy Prime Minister for eight years and Leader of the National Party for thirteen years, first established his reputation as a bike rider of note in Canberra when as the new young Minister of the Interior he commuted on his folding Moulton bicycle from his home in Hughes to his office in Parliament House. He had taken an interest in the Northern Rivers Rail Trail since its inception in 2013 and supports our efforts to turn this disused railway corridor into a world class rail trail. Doug said:
To me it is very obvious that we have a potential rail trail that could become one of great success. The old railway line, established many years ago over bridges and through tunnels, now offers an enticing appeal to the tourist industry. This idea has been discussed for many years and now I am sure that our dreams and aspirations will come to reality. It would be difficult to imagine a trail in more beautiful surroundings than this in the far north of News South Wales. We are so lucky to have such a group of enthusiastic supporters to spur the project along.
Doug was born and died in Murwillumbah.
The family, in a formal statement following his death on 20th December 2020, said it was tremendously proud of Doug Anthony’s legacy. “While always very humble, he made a lasting contribution to the nation, and particularly to people in country Australia. Although Doug was privileged to serve the people of Australia in high office, he always considered his family to be his greatest legacy and contribution to the world. He was very much a man of the Tweed region, and it is fitting that he should depart this life from within the community that he loved so much. May he rest in peace.”
Patron for the Northern Rivers Rail Trail
Robert “Robbie” McEwen AM
Robert “Robbie” McEwen AM (born 24 June 1972 in Brisbane), is a former professional road bike racer. As a triple winner of the Points Classification in the Tour de France, at his peak he was arguably the fastest sprinter in the world.
A former Australian BMX champion, Robbie switched to road racing in 1990 at 18. He raced as a professional from 1996 until 2012. Robbie now lives on the Gold Coast with his Belgian wife Angélique Pattyn, his son Ewan, and his daughters Elena and Claudia. In 2011 he published an autobiography – “One Way Road”. He retired from the World Tour after riding the 2012 Tour of California.
Joining former deputy prime minister Doug Anthony as a patron of the NRRT, Mr McEwen believed the rail trail would be a huge attraction to the region.
“I’ve spent many hours training on the roads of the Northern Rivers and I did quite a bit of racing with the Murwillumbah Cycle Club, so I know how spectacular that area is,” Mr McEwen said.
“Not only are there many cyclists looking for new and interesting places to ride, there are many more people who would like to ride but don’t feel safe on the roads.
If you give people a place to ride and walk, they will come!
There are so many benefits it would bring, I certainly didn’t need to be asked twice to get involved.”
The Northern Rivers Rail Trail Inc Board Members
|Pat Grier AM||President|
|Cameron Arnold||Vice President and Tourism industry rep|
|Marie Lawton||Treasurer & Supporter Liaison rep|
Members and Local Government Representatives
|Sol Ibrahim||Community rep|
|Iain Lonsdale||Director of Engineering and Operations, Tweed Shire Council|
|Barry Longland||Community rep|
|John Bennett||Community rep|
|Claire Hewitt||Community rep|
|Glenys Ritchie||Community rep|
|Jenny Dowell||Community rep|
|Martin Brook||Chair Food industry Committee|
|Patrick Knight||Chairman of Design and Infrastructure Group|
|Norman Case||Chairman of Design and Infrastructure Group|
|Lisa White||Design and Infrastructure Group|
|Duncan Gibbs||Design and Infrastructure Group|
|Andreas Wagner||Web Designer|
|Greg Byrnes||Web Content|