“Rail Trail a Certainty”
The Northern Rivers community celebrates the passage of rail trail legislation through the NSW parliament last week. The Legislative Council passed the Transport Administration Amendment Bill to allow construction to start on the first two sections of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail.
The legislation closes sections of the rail corridor between Casino and Bentley and between Crabbes Creek and Condong in the Tweed. Both these projects are shovel ready and Tweed and Richmond Valley Councils are keen to start construction.
Ben Franklin MLC moved the Bill in the Upper House. He reminded members that the legislation will ensure the corridor remains in public hands, “I assure the House that the rail trail will remain under public ownership … any government or public ownership model adopted will ensure that the land can easily be returned to Transport ownership, if this is ever necessary.“
The community can be confident the corridor is preserved in case there is a need for train services in the future. Speakers agreed the rail trail is the best use of the corridor for the foreseeable future.
The Upper House MLCs on both sides of politics supported their Lower House colleagues agreeing on the benefit this rail trail will bring to the region.
The communities along the corridor will have access to a safe, attractive space to walk and cycle. They will use the trail to travel to work, to exercise, to go to school and to link up with friends. Families can walk and ride safely, away from traffic, through some of our beautiful scenery.
The trail will provide jobs, not only during construction, but after, to support the many visitors who will come to use our trail to experience what the Northern Rivers has to offer.
Existing businesses will need to employ more people and new businesses will start up to service rail trail users. John Graham MLC said “It (the rail trail) will have a positive impact on jobs in the local economy just when the region needs them most. It will bolster well-known local businesses and new businesses will spring up”
NRRT Inc. President Pat Grier said “I thank both sides of NSW parliament for their support for the Northern Rivers Rail Trail. I know the community overwhelmingly wants the rail trail to happen and I’m excited to see this milestone reached. I’m particularly pleased for the desperately needed jobs in this region that I know the trail will deliver.”
“We will be custodians of the corridor to ensure it stays in public hands and can be made available as a transport corridor in the future. In the meantime the whole of the community can enjoy it, walking and cycling!”