Richard White and Rick Stewart are campaigning for the Northern Rivers Rail Trail.   Photo : Mireille Merlet-Shaw/The Northern Star
Richard White and Rick Stewart are campaigning for the Northern Rivers Rail Trail. Photo : Mireille Merlet-Shaw/The Northern Star Mireille Merlet-Shaw

'Crucial' crowdfunding campaign for Northern Rivers Rail Trail

A CROWDFUNDING campaign to raise $75,000 towards a detailed engineering plan for a rail trail from Casino to Eltham is officially launching on Tuesday next week.

The aim is to make the proposed 45km trail 'shovel ready', which would massively boost its chances of attracting government funding.

The $75,000 raised would pool with $100,000 already committed by Lismore and Richmond Valley councils towards the plan.

The two councils will use the document in their joint application for rail trail funding under Round One of the NSW Government's $300 million Regional Growth Environment and Tourism Fund.

Marie Lawton, public liaison officer for the Northern Rivers Rail Trail Association said it was crucial to produce a detailed submission for the government to seriously consider the project.

"If we have that it is much more likely that we will get some funding,” Ms Lawton said.

"We might not get this chance again.”

She said the rail trail project was perfectly suited to the criteria of the Regional Growth fund.

"It's got environment, it's got tourism, and we've been encouraged to apply for this funding.” Ms Lawton said.

Tweed Shire Council has previously applied for $13 million in government funding for a 24km section of the 130km corridor.

Their engineering plan cost $250,000.

The benefits to the rail are "extensive” and include jobs, economic growth and community health and wellbeing. The ultimate plan to create a Casino to Murwillumbah rail trail would see one of the longest and most stunning scenic trails in Australia with a year round climate suited for riding.

Ms Lawton said the community was being asked to "dig in and donate” to the project if they wanted to see it happen.

"This is our big chance, don't let it pass us by.”

From Tuesday onwards the campaign can be shared on social media.

To donate go here: https://chuffed.org/project/the-northern-rivers-rail-trail-a-community-trail



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