THE NATIONALS ANNOUNCE $7.5 MILLION TOWARDS STAGE TWO
Federal Member for Page, Kevin Hogan, has announced that if re-elected a Coalition Government will commit $7.5 million to the Northern Rivers Rail Trail.
He says the money will assist in funding the 13-kilometre stretch of the disused railline from Casino to Bentley.
“Stage 2 will eventually go from Casino all the way to Eltham but this funding will build from the Old Casino Railway Station to Back Creek Bridge at Bentley,” he said.
“The Old Casino Railway Station and its museum will be the southern terminus of the Rail Trail. It is a State Heritage listed building in need of repair.
“At Bentley, there will be toilets and shelter facilities built.”
He says that with the completion of Stage 2 of the project there will be an increase of up to 40,000 visitors to the Casino area.
The hope is that the NSW Government will match the funding.
LABOR COMMITS $17 MILLION TO STAGE 2
If elected next month the Federal Labor Party has committed to funding 50 per cent of the Casino to Eltham stage of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail project.
Candidate for Page, Patrick Deegan, says it’s fantastic news for the region.
“This is a huge win for the local economy, it’s a huge win for tourism and it’s a huge win for local jobs,” he said.
It is estimated that Stage 2, a 45-kilometre stretch from Casino to Eltham along the disused Casino to Murwillumbah train line, will cost around $34 million.
Mr Deegan is calling on the NSW Government to commit to funding the remaining $17 million needed.
“We’ve got Federal support, we need the state support now to get this project up and running to create tourism jobs in the local area,” he said.
Mr Deegan says that Labor’s $17 million investment into the Casino to Eltham stage would be drawn from its National Bike Paths Strategy.
He says the strategy includes trail tourism, and that the rail trail market is a growing sector in the tourism industry.
|The Business Case for the Casino/Eltham section of the Rail Trail has now been completed and will go before councils.
UPDATE ON THE BYRON LINE
In September this year, Council awarded a tender to Arcadis Australia Pacific Pty Ltd to complete this study. It is anticipated that this will be delivered in May 2019.
Throughout the project, the consultant will be engaging with the community to discuss the use of the rail corridor.
The goal of the engagement is to determine the likely use of each option within the corridor, not to prioritise one option over another. The project’s goal is to integrate ‘multi use’ within the corridor.
The following survey finishes today!
UPDATE ON THE TWEED SECTION OF THE RAIL TRAIL
1.Waiting written confirmation about NSW Government’s pre-election commitment to provide $200k per year for 3 years for operational (seed) funding. Tweed Council is seeking the surety of this seed funding before it considers accepting the Statutory Land Manager function under the Crown Land Management Act.
2.Four minor Heritage Conservation Heritage Management Plans are nearing completion and include:
a.Burringbar Range tunnel
d.Dunbible Creek rail bridge
3.Government Departments are enthusiastically undertaking the procedures and preparing Cabinet Briefings to facilitate the statutory closing of the railway line, its vesting of the railway corridor into the Crown Estate and the reservation of the land for public recreation (rail trail).
4.NSW Government have conformed they will offer a funding agreement to Tweed Council for the reserved $6.5m in grant funding once the railway is closed.
5.Council shortlisted 4 construction companies for early tender engagement prior to their invitation to tender for the design and construction of the project. This is scheduled to commence once the funding agreement is finalised. In the meantime, Council’s project team is continuing with various engineering and environmental assessments to assist with that process.
6.The Tweed’s section of the rail trail is presently about 6 months behind its planned completion date and Council remains optimistic that delivery of the rail trail will remain within 12 months of the June 2020 time frame it had originally agreed with the Australian Government.