News

Rail trail on MP’s bucket list

RIDING HIGH: The Northern Rivers Rail Trail supporter Tony Keogh is very keen to see the initiative gain support and become a major part of the Northern Rivers region.
RIDING HIGH: The Northern Rivers Rail Trail supporter Tony Keogh is very keen to see the initiative gain support and become a major part of the Northern Rivers region. Marc Stapelberg

BALLINA MP Don Page said he is aiming to have funding and legislation for a Murwillumbah to Casino rail trail locked in by the end of November - his last Parliamentary session before retirement.

While there are still a few important hurdles, Mr Page said the Northern Rivers Rail Trail project would be the "first cab off the rank" ahead of several rail trail projects in the pipeline for the state.

"I'd be hoping that we'd have a fairly firm proposal in front of government within a month or so," Mr Page said.

"It's not that complicated, but it does have to be right."

The proposal would allow funding to be locked in from the Regional Tourism Fund under Restart NSW, and legislation would then be passed to green light the project.

"I'd personally like to see it done by the end of November. That's my objective," Mr Page said.

Mr Page said the state government is currently conducting a more rigorous cost-benefit study of the trail, while locally the search for a suitable proponent for the project is underway.Northern Rivers Rail Trail secretary Steve Martin said it was an "absolutely critical stage" to find the right proponent organisation, ideally with a track record in managing funding and rolling out a valuable community infrastructure project.

"To keep the asset in public ownership is key to our thinking," Mr Martin said.

"I think what we've got the potential for here is a hallmark attraction for Australia."

"The upshot of that is it's got huge community benefit as well - it's an amazing asset."

"We just need to find the right structure and there's a huge appetite to make that happen from within government."

Mr Page said a suitable proponent could involve the formation of a trust, which would have representation from state and local government, and community representatives.

He said his aim was to ensure to project was fully funded before any work commenced.

Most funding is expected to come from the Regional Tourism Fund under Restart NSW although there are also hopes for some level of federal funding.

"I'm a very keen advocate for the rail trail, I think it will bring tremendous benefits to the region."




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Teen goes on stolen credit card spending spree in Ballina

A 17-year-old has been charged with eight counts of fraud.

Buff contestants compete for Mr Beef crown

Dylan Hancok and Nick Taylor, of Casino, will battle it out for the Mr Beef Week title in Casino. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Mr Beef rules are, there are no rules

OPINION: Which is the more go ahead town Ballina or Lismore?

Busy Ballina Airport terminal after a Virgin Australia, Jetstar, and Rex Airlines arrive within 30min of each other. Photo Jay Cronan / The Northern Star

Ballina airport terminal is set to triple

Latest deals and offers

Lismore real estate agent celebrates 100th birthday

LJ Hooker Lismore principal Paul Deegan is the third generation to operate the 100-year-old family business.

A Lismore real estate is celebrating 100 years in business.

Coastal development keeps young people on Northern Rivers

Wes Bale is a 27-year-old born and bred Lennox Head local who is an example of the demographic shift in the region.

Young Northern Rivers residents are looking closer to home