Rail Trail

About the Northern Rivers Rail Trail - Stage 1 Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek

Tweed Shire Council is designing and constructing a 24-kilometre rail trail (shared-user path) along the route of the disused Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek rail corridor.

The project has been funded jointly by the State and Federal governments, with each contributing $6.5 million to the cost.

It is envisaged the Tweed Valley Rail Trail may become the first stage of a longer 134-kilometre trail from Murwillumbah to Casino.

On 15 February 2018, Council resolved to call tenders for the design and construction of the rail trail on the current track formation but also to allow contractors to put forward proposals to construct the rail trail beside the train tracks, preserving the tracks in place.

About the Northern Rivers Rail Trail - Stage 1 Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek

Tweed Shire Council is designing and constructing a 24-kilometre rail trail (shared-user path) along the route of the disused Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek rail corridor.

The project has been funded jointly by the State and Federal governments, with each contributing $6.5 million to the cost.

It is envisaged the Tweed Valley Rail Trail may become the first stage of a longer 134-kilometre trail from Murwillumbah to Casino.

On 15 February 2018, Council resolved to call tenders for the design and construction of the rail trail on the current track formation but also to allow contractors to put forward proposals to construct the rail trail beside the train tracks, preserving the tracks in place.

  • RSVP adjoining landowner conversation

    9 days ago

    15 March 2019

    Landowners adjoining the rail corridor are invited to a Rail Trail Conversation on Wednesday 20 March from 5.30pm-7.30pm at the Murwillumbah Civic Centre Auditorium on Tumbulgum Road, Murwillumbah.

    Invitations to this event were mailed to all adjoining landowners but the link to rsvp via Eventbrite was not working. We have now fixed the link and extended the rsvp deadline to 3pm on Wednesday 20 March.

    Please rsvp via the below links (note: no password is required) or phone Council direct on 6670 2400.

    https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/rail-trail-landowner-conversation-tickets-58833601887

    https://railtrail.eventbrite.com.au


    This conversation is for adjoining landowners only and on the night we...

    15 March 2019

    Landowners adjoining the rail corridor are invited to a Rail Trail Conversation on Wednesday 20 March from 5.30pm-7.30pm at the Murwillumbah Civic Centre Auditorium on Tumbulgum Road, Murwillumbah.

    Invitations to this event were mailed to all adjoining landowners but the link to rsvp via Eventbrite was not working. We have now fixed the link and extended the rsvp deadline to 3pm on Wednesday 20 March.

    Please rsvp via the below links (note: no password is required) or phone Council direct on 6670 2400.

    https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/rail-trail-landowner-conversation-tickets-58833601887

    https://railtrail.eventbrite.com.au


    This conversation is for adjoining landowners only and on the night we will discuss the following:

    · Role of Commonwealth, State and Local governments

    · Current status of the project

    · Future ownership and management of the trail

    · Possible impacts, risks and benefits

    · Misinformation v facts and evidence

    · Biosecurity – national, state and local

    · Environmental assessment

    · Planning and Heritage approvals

    · Relevant legislation and statutory rules

    · Future trail stages

    · Extent of assets to be part of the rail trail operation

    · Tendering for a company to Design and Construct

    · Opportunities and risks going forward

    · Engagement with landowners, public and stakeholders

    On the night, landowners will be invited to nominate to join a Landowner Consultation Group to have a voice on the project going forward.


  • Northern Rivers Rail Trail will be amazing

    4 months ago

    Published in Echo NetDaily on 26 November 2018

    Paul Heymans, president, Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Users Association.

    A couple of years ago I had occasion to visit the Northern Rivers region and crossed over the old railway line several times. I thought to myself then, what a stunning rail trail that could be.

    I just wanted to congratulate Tweed Shire Council and the Northern Rivers Rail Trail supporters for bringing it all together.

    Every rail trail has its naysayers, but when an old railway corridor is repurposed as a rail trail it brings nothing but good to the region.

    I...

    Published in Echo NetDaily on 26 November 2018

    Paul Heymans, president, Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Users Association.

    A couple of years ago I had occasion to visit the Northern Rivers region and crossed over the old railway line several times. I thought to myself then, what a stunning rail trail that could be.

    I just wanted to congratulate Tweed Shire Council and the Northern Rivers Rail Trail supporters for bringing it all together.

    Every rail trail has its naysayers, but when an old railway corridor is repurposed as a rail trail it brings nothing but good to the region.

    I can speak from experience, having fought a long and often difficult campaign to get the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail here in Queensland completed.

    Many of our landowners who were concerned about biosecurity have come to realise the risk is negligible. There has been no outbreak in crime recorded by the police, apart from occasional illegal motorbikes on the trail.

    An old railway corridor is never going to repurposed as a light railway because it would cost billions of dollars to bring the corridor and all those bridges and tunnels up to modern safety standards. In any case, light railway will soon be superseded by new transport technologies that don’t even use rails as we move away from fossil fuels.

    By contrast, a rail trail brings in millions of tourism dollars and encourages a more active lifestyle that saves millions of dollars in health costs.

    What could be a better use for a disused old railway corridor than giving so much enjoyment and pleasure to so many people?

    The Northern Rivers Rail Trail (Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek) will be one of the most scenic in the country.

    It will be an amazing asset for your region. I can’t wait to come and give it a go when it’s completed.


  • Workshop for Rail Trail landowners to voice concerns

    4 months ago

    Friday 23 November 2018

    Council will hold a workshop with landowners adjacent to the rail corridor between Murwillumbah and Crabbes Creek to advise them of progress and hear any concerns they have about the proposed Rail Trail.

    Mayor of Tweed Cr Katie Milne moved the motion for a landowner workshop at the 15 November Council meeting, where it passed 5:1, with one councillor absent.

    The workshop with councillors will be held early in 2019.

    An agenda for the workshop is being developed and all landowners along the corridor will be invited to attend.

    ...

    Friday 23 November 2018

    Council will hold a workshop with landowners adjacent to the rail corridor between Murwillumbah and Crabbes Creek to advise them of progress and hear any concerns they have about the proposed Rail Trail.

    Mayor of Tweed Cr Katie Milne moved the motion for a landowner workshop at the 15 November Council meeting, where it passed 5:1, with one councillor absent.

    The workshop with councillors will be held early in 2019.

    An agenda for the workshop is being developed and all landowners along the corridor will be invited to attend.

    Following the workshop, two reference groups will be established to help the project team resolve landowner issues in the design phase of the project and drive the economic and social benefits of the rail trail.

    A Landowner Consultation Group will provide a platform for landowners to share their concerns, ideas and suggestions among themselves and with the project team.

    “By inviting the landowners into the project we will be able to collaborate on solutions to both individual landowner issues and group issues as a collective,” Rail Trail Project Director Iain Lonsdale said.

    “It will encourage innovation and lead to common rather than bespoke solutions, with the possibility of mitigating any landowner distress in these early stages of design.

    “These landowners are our priority stakeholders and we acknowledge that the rail trail will directly affect their lifestyles and, in many cases, their livelihoods.”

    The second reference group will be a Rail Trail Sharing Group, comprising representatives from the community, business and industry, chambers of commerce, tourism operators, user groups and others to share ideas and work collectively to drive the economic and social benefits around the rail trail.

    Already the Rail Trail Project Team has recorded 14 adjacent landowners seeking business opportunities from the Rail Trail, from cafes and accommodation to development of an interconnecting mountain bike track.

    This Sharing Group would work with individuals and businesses to harness and leverage the benefits and opportunities provided by the rail trail now and into the future.

    Nominations for membership to both groups will be advertised early in 2019, together with the terms of reference for each. Councillor representatives will be nominated for each of the groups.


  • Rail Trail workshop attracts 19 prospective tenderers

    4 months ago

    15 November 2018

    Twenty-seven representatives from 19 construction and consultancy companies and one vegetation management company today attended a Council workshop to learn more about the proposed first stage of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail from Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek.

    At the workshop, Council released a short video Experience Our Heritage showcasing the route and scenery along the way. Watch it at www.yoursaytweed.com.au/RailTrail/videos/5593.

    The workshop provided context around the proposed rail trail, plus highlighted some of the design and construction challenges presented by the current poor condition of the rail corridor.

    ...

    15 November 2018

    Twenty-seven representatives from 19 construction and consultancy companies and one vegetation management company today attended a Council workshop to learn more about the proposed first stage of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail from Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek.

    At the workshop, Council released a short video Experience Our Heritage showcasing the route and scenery along the way. Watch it at www.yoursaytweed.com.au/RailTrail/videos/5593.

    The workshop provided context around the proposed rail trail, plus highlighted some of the design and construction challenges presented by the current poor condition of the rail corridor.

    Council has called for Expressions of Interest to design and construct the rail trail, with proposals for both on-rail and off-rail formations invited.

    The construction companies now have until 12 December to respond to the Expression of Interest, which is designed to assess design and construction capability and experience, including workplace health and safety and environmental management credentials. Around February 2019, three to four companies will be short-listed to work closely with Council to tender for the Design and Construct contract for the rail trail. That contract will be awarded around May next year, with construction to start about June 2019 for completion by September 2020.

    “We were very pleased with the diversity and depth of construction expertise that today’s workshop attracted, with obvious rail bridge and civil engineering expertise in the room,” Rail Trail Project Director Iain Lonsdale said.

    “The questions from the floor demonstrated a keen desire of prospective tenderers to understand the detailed design and construction challenges of the project, explore on-rail and off-rail formation opportunities and to manage community expectations and adjacent landowner needs throughout.”

    Prospective tenderers got a bird’s eye view of the condition of the corridor via video detailing the major design and construction challenges, such as: difficult topography; significant grades; flood-prone land; landslips and scours; numerous creek crossings; historic bridges with spans missing; and, overgrown vegetation.

    The Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek rail trail is 24-kilometres long, winding through the villages of Stokers Siding, Burringbar and Crabbes Creek. It features two tunnels, one 523-metres long with ecological values that need to be managed during design and construction; 27 bridges, of which 18 are significant in size or construction method; and, several heritage items.

    The Northern Rivers Rail Trail, stage 1 from Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek, is fully funded by the federal and state governments and supported by Tweed Shire Council.

    The $13 million trail is being built to provide business and growth opportunities in the Tweed villages and economic and social benefits for the community.


  • Council calls for rail trail tenderers

    5 months ago

    Monday 29 October 2018

    Council has advertised for Expressions of Interest from prospective tenderers interested in designing and constructing the Tweed stage of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail.

    Expressions of Interest close on Wednesday 12 December 2018.

    Council will shortlist three to four prospective tenderers from the process and then work with them to fully explore the objectives and opportunities presented by the joint Federal and State Government-funded project but also Council’s requirement to seek both on-track and off-track proposals.

    “This two-stage tendering process will allow us to workshop the project information with the qualifying tenderers and...

    Monday 29 October 2018

    Council has advertised for Expressions of Interest from prospective tenderers interested in designing and constructing the Tweed stage of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail.

    Expressions of Interest close on Wednesday 12 December 2018.

    Council will shortlist three to four prospective tenderers from the process and then work with them to fully explore the objectives and opportunities presented by the joint Federal and State Government-funded project but also Council’s requirement to seek both on-track and off-track proposals.

    “This two-stage tendering process will allow us to workshop the project information with the qualifying tenderers and discuss such matters as the Council resolution and its preference for an off-formation design,” Rail Trail Project Director Iain Lonsdale said.

    “This will enable us to communicate clearly with those tenderers the full range of issues and opportunities available prior to them undertaking their own assessments. This will ensure all tenderers proceed with the same level of knowledge and should lead to the discovery of a wider range of design solutions.”

    The Expressions of Interest will capture opportunities around the design and construction of trail surfaces, new and rehabilitated bridges and culverts, treatments of existing tunnels, connecting pathways and interpretations of railway heritage elements.

    Council is expected to award the Design and Construct contract early next year, with a view to construction of the Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek stage of the rail trail starting about June 2019.

    Meanwhile, Council has begun talking with the rail trail villages of Stokers Siding, Burringbar, Mooball and Crabbes Creek about the rail trail and how it will affect them.

    Rail Trail Community Conversations began in Uki last week and will continue in Burringbar and Stokers Siding this week. The Mooball / Crabbes Creek conversation will be held on Monday 19 November 2018. To check the dates and venues, visit https://yoursaytweed.com.au/openspace

    “The rail trail is a key element of Council’s Open Space Strategy as it will provide a recreational cycling and walking path between the Tweed villages and Murwillumbah, multiplying the open space available in the Tweed for community use,” he said.

    “Council is currently seeking community input on the Open Space Strategy, in particular how it would prioritise individual open space upgrades over the next decade, and the rail trail is part of that conversation.”

    As well, the Biosecurity Risk Assessment for adjacent landowners to the rail trail being conducted by Local Land Services veterinarians will be completed before the end of the year.

    - ends -


  • Rail Trail team learns from Brisbane Valley experience

    9 months ago

    Wednesday 20 June 2018

    Council staff working on the design of the first stage of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail literally got on their bikes last weekend to gain first-hand experience of a successful rail trail operation.

    The team, led by Rail Trail Project Manager Iain Lonsdale, rode 40 kilometres along the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail with the President of the trail’s Users Association Paul Heymans to learn lessons from their experience with the ongoing construction of this 162-kilometre trail and its operation.

    “We spent several hours riding the trail with Paul and discussing all aspects of how...

    Wednesday 20 June 2018

    Council staff working on the design of the first stage of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail literally got on their bikes last weekend to gain first-hand experience of a successful rail trail operation.

    The team, led by Rail Trail Project Manager Iain Lonsdale, rode 40 kilometres along the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail with the President of the trail’s Users Association Paul Heymans to learn lessons from their experience with the ongoing construction of this 162-kilometre trail and its operation.

    “We spent several hours riding the trail with Paul and discussing all aspects of how they established the trail and how it has grown over the past decade,” Mr Lonsdale said.

    The research ride allowed the team of design engineers and environmental scientists the opportunity to inspect the different kinds of surfaces used along the Brisbane Valley trail, which will help Tweed decide the best design option for Stage 1 of the Northern Rivers trail from Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek.

    “We also saw how Brisbane Valley used the existing rail infrastructure, incorporating bridges, tunnels, railway track, signage and station buildings into their design.”

    On the day of the ride, the Brisbane Valley trail was hosting a 160-kilometre endurance run with refresher stations and supporters at various points along the trail.

    “Seeing the patronage of the rail trail and how well it worked for a major regional sporting event was very encouraging.

    “Without exception, everyone we spoke to on the trail was enthusiastic and welcomed the prospect of a new rail trail in the Tweed.”

    The Tweed team was particularly interested to learn of the business opportunities provided by the trail, reporting that the demand for accommodation generated by trail users had prompted a $1 million expansion and upgrade of the Esk Caravan Park.

    “Our visit to Brisbane Valley certainly fuelled the passion of the Tweed team to deliver a first-class rail trail product for northern New South Wales to build a new regional tourist attraction to drive economic growth and jobs.”


  • Tweed Valley Rail Trail on track

    11 months ago

    Friday 16 February 2018

    Tweed Shire Council has resolved to accept the offer of $6.5 million in Federal grant funding to construct the 24-kilometre long Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek section of the rail trail project, with a number of safeguards put in place to ensure the rail corridor remains.

    With the Federal grant funds adding to the $6.5 million already committed by the NSW Government last August, the Tweed Valley Rail Trail project is fully funded.

    Last night’s decision requires Council to call tenders for the design and construction of the rail trail on the current track formation but will...

    Friday 16 February 2018

    Tweed Shire Council has resolved to accept the offer of $6.5 million in Federal grant funding to construct the 24-kilometre long Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek section of the rail trail project, with a number of safeguards put in place to ensure the rail corridor remains.

    With the Federal grant funds adding to the $6.5 million already committed by the NSW Government last August, the Tweed Valley Rail Trail project is fully funded.

    Last night’s decision requires Council to call tenders for the design and construction of the rail trail on the current track formation but will also allow the opportunity for contractors pricing the project to put forward proposals to construct the rail trail beside the train tracks, preserving the tracks in place. With conjecture in the community over the feasibility and cost of this alternative, last night’s decision will provide the opportunity to ascertain if this would be feasible and how much it might cost.

    Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Katie Milne said she “was very pleased that we will be getting an opportunity to go to the market to also see if the trail could be built next to the track”.

    “There would obviously be a greater range of opportunities for transport and tourism if we could utilise both the track and an adjacent trial,” she said.

    In addition to this the Council resolved to seek an annual contribution from the State Government to fund operations and maintenance of the regional tourism facility and Council will advocate that a Trust be established to oversee governance and management if the trail eventually extends beyond the Tweed.

    The resolution also included the following wording about safeguards:

    To ensure that appropriate legislation is in place that would:

    i. Maintain the corridor in public ownership in perpetuity for exclusive use as a Rail Trail, for the Return of Rail or public transport

    ii. Allow under lease or license to the Trust uses complementary to the success of the Rail Trail (for example rail carriages used on parts of the disused line that would add character and services to the rail trail such as a coffee cart, art and craft, bike hire, accommodation, etc) and that income derived from these be quarantined for maintenance of the Rail Trail, Corridor and associated infrastructure (former stations).

    iii. Require an Act of Parliament as opposed to Ministerial approval for the sale of any part of the corridor.”

    Driverless electric carts will be investigated in the corridor as another opportunity.


  • Rail Trail on track after $6.5 million Federal boost

    11 months ago

    Friday 2 February 2018

    Tweed Shire Council has welcomed today’s announcement of a $6.5 million boost for the Tweed Valley Rail Trail project, matching the funds committed by the NSW Government last year.

    The Federal Minister for Regional Development John McVeigh visited Murwillumbah today to announce $6.5 million in funding had been approved from the Regional Jobs and Investment Program (RJIP).

    Deputy Mayor Councillor Reece Byrnes said the announcement meant the project to build a 24-kilometre long rail trail from Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek was now fully funded, with more than $13 million committed.

    “I welcome today's announcement by the...

    Friday 2 February 2018

    Tweed Shire Council has welcomed today’s announcement of a $6.5 million boost for the Tweed Valley Rail Trail project, matching the funds committed by the NSW Government last year.

    The Federal Minister for Regional Development John McVeigh visited Murwillumbah today to announce $6.5 million in funding had been approved from the Regional Jobs and Investment Program (RJIP).

    Deputy Mayor Councillor Reece Byrnes said the announcement meant the project to build a 24-kilometre long rail trail from Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek was now fully funded, with more than $13 million committed.

    “I welcome today's announcement by the Federal Government of Tweed Shire Council’s success under the latest RJIP funding round for the Tweed section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail,” Cr Byrnes said.

    “The rail trail will be a great injection into our tourism and small business sector, particularly in Murwillumbah.

    “Make no mistake, this is a community victory and one we all share.

    “This announcement comes after years of tireless work from members of the community and in particular the members of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail Board.

    “I also extend thanks to our local State and Federal Representatives who committed much support to this Council project,” he said.

    Tweed Shire Council will be responsible for delivering the project and Council’s Director Engineering David Oxenham said the next step is to begin work on detailed concept designs.

    “This announcement is great news, especially for all the people in our community who have worked hard to make it happen but there is still lots of work to do before the project gets underway,” Mr Oxenham said.

    The NSW State Government announced in August 2017 that it would commit $6.5 million to the rail trail in Tweed Shire, which it sees as Stage 1 of a larger Northern Rivers Rail Trail along the full length of the Murwillumbah to Casino rail line.

    Chairman of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail Board, John Greer, said the rail trail was the best way to keep the land the rails are on intact and preserve it for community use.

    “What is really special about this day is seeing federal, state and local government representatives getting behind a project which will have so many positive outcomes,” Mr Greer said.

    “This shows what can be achieved when different levels of government work together and are focused on a common goal.”


  • Tweed trail delegation joins Sydney rail trail launch

    11 months ago

    Tuesday 15 March 2016

    Delegates from Tweed Shire Council and Northern Rivers Rail Trails (NRRT) will travel to Sydney next week to attend the launch of a state wide campaign to establish rail trails in NSW.

    The Make It Happen campaign launch, on Tuesday 22 March, will be attended by representatives of several projects proposing to establish cycling and pedestrian rail trails in various parts of NSW.

    They include delegates of the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail, who will provide on an update on their pilot project after it was granted NSW Government funding last year.

    Tweed...

    Tuesday 15 March 2016

    Delegates from Tweed Shire Council and Northern Rivers Rail Trails (NRRT) will travel to Sydney next week to attend the launch of a state wide campaign to establish rail trails in NSW.

    The Make It Happen campaign launch, on Tuesday 22 March, will be attended by representatives of several projects proposing to establish cycling and pedestrian rail trails in various parts of NSW.

    They include delegates of the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail, who will provide on an update on their pilot project after it was granted NSW Government funding last year.

    Tweed councillor Barry Longland will be among the event’s speakers, to outline the proposal to establish a Tweed Valley Rail Trail along the disused rail corridor from Murwillumbah to Wooyung.

    “This campaign and its launch will be important steps in getting rail trails projects off the ground in NSW and to start seeing the benefits that are being enjoyed by so many similar projects in other parts of Australia and in other countries,” Cr Longland said.

    “The launch will bring together senior officials and community representatives from each of the proposed rail trails, to share our experiences and ideas to help make these trails a reality.”

    “We are confident the Tweed Valley Rail Trail remains very well positioned to be one of the first rail trails in NSW, because of the projects massive potential and the amount of planning and investigations that have already gone into it,” he said.

    “The incredible scenic beauty of the corridor route, through areas including three World Heritage listed national parks, and its close proximity to major population centres and tourism hubs give it huge potential to be one of the most successful trails in this part of the world.”

    Cr Longland said Council and community leaders from NRRT were actively pursuing funding options for the 24km trail, which would link and provide economic boosts for the historic villages of Stokers Siding, Burringbar, Mooball and Crabbes Creek.

    NRRT is hoping the Tweed Valley Rail Trail would be the first leg of a 130km Northern Rivers Rail Trail from Murwillumbah to Casino, which had been proposed for State funding last year.

    “While the entire Murwillumbah to Casino trail goes across four different local government areas, the funds instead went to the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail, which is all contained within Tumbarumba Shire Council.

    “We have taken that on board and honed our focus to look specifically at the Murwillumbah to Wooyung section, which incorporates some of the most spectacular locations along the corridor, is the closest point to a huge and growing population in South East Queensland and is on the doorstep of the international tourism attraction that is Byron Shire.”

    Former Deputy Prime Minister and now Rail Trails for NSW Patron Tim Fischer and Infrastructure NSW’s Executive Director Strategy and Planning, Jenny Davis, will also speak at the launch, being held at NSW Parliament House.


  • Rail Trail project turns to other funding options

    11 months ago

    Thursday 10 August 2017

    Alternative funding options will be sought for the Tweed stage of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, following a recent announcement the project was not successful in the latest round of the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions fund, Council’s Director Engineering, David Oxenham, said.

    “Council still believes it is a viable project and will welcome any other avenues to secure the necessary funding,” Mr Oxenham said.

    Council applied for $6.5 million from the Building Better Regions fund to build the 24km section of the rail trail from the Murwillumbah railway station to Crabbes Creek.

    ...

    Thursday 10 August 2017

    Alternative funding options will be sought for the Tweed stage of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, following a recent announcement the project was not successful in the latest round of the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions fund, Council’s Director Engineering, David Oxenham, said.

    “Council still believes it is a viable project and will welcome any other avenues to secure the necessary funding,” Mr Oxenham said.

    Council applied for $6.5 million from the Building Better Regions fund to build the 24km section of the rail trail from the Murwillumbah railway station to Crabbes Creek.

    In July, the NSW Minister for Tourism, Adam Marshall, travelled to the Northern Rivers and announced the State Government had reserved $6.5 million for the project, securing half the funds needed for the $13 million initiative.

    “It has been a wonderful community effort to get the project this far, led by Northern Rivers Rail Trail Inc.,” Mr Oxenham said.

    “The State Government’s recent announcement and the community turn-out to celebrate that announcement was a great indication of the level of support for this venture.

    “We have also valued the strong support of our State and Federals Members, who have recognised the tremendous economic and public health boost the rail trail would bring to the Tweed and the Northern Rivers.

    “So it was disappointing to learn that we had been unsuccessful in securing funding through this round of the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions fund,” he said.

    “It would be a real lost opportunity if we were unable to convert the disused rail corridor into a major asset for this area, so we will continue to look for funding opportunities.”