Northern Rivers Rail Trail Update #4


Thanks again for your continued support to make a rail trail happen in the Northern Rivers.

Since our last update in February, we’ve been continuing to build community, political and professional support for a rail trail to be created in the Northern Rivers.

We can’t do it without the backing of locals, community groups, politicians, businesses and all kinds of people like you! If you know of someone who might be interested in making a rail trail happen, spread the word and pass on this email.

In this issue:

  • Interest at local markets for RAIL TRAIL.
  • Support from Local District Health Service.

Northern Rivers Helps Launch Rail Trails for NSW

photo launch

From left: Marie Lawton (NRRT), Councillor Barry Longland (Tweed), Councillor Glenys Ritchie (Lismore), Gladys Berejiklian (Minister for Transport), Patrick Grier (Chairman NRRT), Steve Martin (Secretary NRRT).

There was strong attendance from the Northern Rivers at the official launch of Rail Trails for New South Wales at Parliament House in Sydney on Wednesday 26/3/14.

Representatives from Northern Rivers Rail Trail Association included the President Pat Grier AM, Secretary Steve Martin, Treasurer Marie Lawton and solicitor Tim Castle. Tweed Shire Mayor Councillor Barry Longland and Director of Engineering David Oxenham joined them at Parliament House.  Councillor Glenys Ritchie represented Lismore City Council.  Local Members of Parliament Don Page and Thomas George attended to provide support to the Northern Rivers group.

“This level of attendance from the Northern Rivers shows the commitment and enthusiasm in the region for rail trails in general and the Casino to Murwillumbah Rail Trail in particular,” Mr Grier said.

Rail Trails (RTs) for New South Wales was formed in late 2013 with the Hon Tim Fischer AC as Patron, with an aim to bring together the efforts of the 14 individual groups with Rail Trail proposals throughout regional NSW.

Mr Grier said the launch was an exciting time for rail trails in NSW, especially in the Northern Rivers.

“I’m excited at the number of people from across NSW who attended this event and are actively supporting rail trails in our state. Over 100 Rail Trails have been built in Australia, mostly to encourage economic growth in rural communities and for the health benefits of activities such as walking and cycling. It is time for NSW to join the rest of Australia in gaining the significant benefits of rail trails,” Mr Grier said.

The Rail Trails for New South Wales vision is to see the first Rail Trails built in NSW as soon as possible.

The first Australian Rail Trail was commissioned in Victoria over 20 years ago.

Northern Rivers Rail Trail gets strong support from local markets


Max Connelly, Sharon Yarrington and Keith Munsford at Byron Farmers Market.

Supporters of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail have been active at local markets in recent months. We have attended the Farmers’ Markets at Byron Bay, Mullumbimby and Bangalow and monthly markets at Byron Bay and Lismore. Many thanks to Byron Farmers Market Association and Byron Community Centre for their support.  There was also a lot of interest in our stall at the Living Earth Festival in Mullumbimby.

Marie Lawton, Treasurer and Supporter Liaison Representative, is excited by the strong support shown by local residents for the rail trail.

“It’s great to set up in the local markets and have lots of people come up to us and say how much they are looking forward to having a rail trail in the region,” she said.

Health Service Supports Rail Trail

The NRRT Association has received a letter of support from Chris Crawford, Chief Executive of Northern NSW Local Health District.

Mr Crawford cites a number of reasons for the Health District supporting the rail trail, including the provision of safe and pleasant places to exercise.

“Rail trails create healthy recreation and transportation opportunities by providing people of all ages with accessible, attractive and safe places to cycle, walk or jog,” he said.

“Once the trail is established, it will be the ideal place for our Health Promotion team to coordinate volunteer-led walking groups. These can target older people, new mothers with strollers and people at risk of chronic disease and will give them access to free physical activity and support social interactions.”

The Health District is concerned about the high percentage of overweight and obese people, and the low levels of physical activity, in the Northern Rivers. They see the rail trail as encouraging a more active lifestyle and providing for the many benefits physical activity brings.

“Physical activity also helps keep people mentally healthy. Rail trails can increase a sense of village pride and connectedness to history and the natural environment that can improve psychological health. Getting more people out of cars and on to trails also increases casual interactions, socialisation and can reduce crime’” Mr Crawford said.

Support the Northern Rivers Rail Trail and DONATE NOW

The Northern Rivers Rail Trail Association has been in action for almost 12 months now. Many thanks to our active supporter base for your support and encouragement. We have been running on the smell of an oily (steam engine) rag and are struggling to keep up with demands. The upcoming release of the government’s feasibility study will be a great opportunity to lift our level of activity and gain more community support. BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP – DONATE NOW to make the Northern Rivers Rail Trail dream a reality,



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