News

Utopia moment: Minister announces plans for announcement

RAIL TRAIL INSPECTION: Pictured at the abandoned Bangalow Railway Station are NSW Nationals candidate for Ballina Kris Beavis, NSW Minister for Regional Tourism John Barilaro and Member for Ballina Don Page with Northern Rivers Rail Trail supporters Marie Lawton and Steve Martin.
RAIL TRAIL INSPECTION: Pictured at the abandoned Bangalow Railway Station are NSW Nationals candidate for Ballina Kris Beavis, NSW Minister for Regional Tourism John Barilaro and Member for Ballina Don Page with Northern Rivers Rail Trail supporters Marie Lawton and Steve Martin. Megan Kinninment

LIKE a scene straight out of the ABC TV satire, Utopia, the NSW Minister for Regional Tourism arrived in Bangalow yesterday to announce the NSW Government would be making an announcement in the future on rail trail funding.

"This (rail trail) proposal is far more advanced than any other I have seen and I think it is a leading contender to see funding in the future," Minister John Barilaro said.

Minister Barilaro said the Government's infrastructure strategy, announced on Tuesday, had identified $300 million for regional areas and he encouraged the Northern Rivers local councils and communities to plan ahead.

"We want to see projects shovel ready. Start planning, and when the money becomes available, be ready to bid your share," he said.

NSW's updated State Infrastructure Strategy:

  • $3.7 billion for regional roads and bridges
  • $1 billion for water security projects
  • $400 million for country rail
  • $300 million to accelerate regional health projects
  • $300 million for regional school renewals
  • $300 million for regional tourism and environment projects.

The Minister, along with Member of Ballina Don Page and Nationals candidate for Ballina Kris Beavis, met with members of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail Association while in Bangalow to discuss the rail trail project.

Mr Page said the rail trail would bring jobs to the region and act to preserve the rail corridor for future use, however there were still technical and governance issues to be discussed before proceeding.

"The bottom line is everyone is very keen on this project. It won't be too far away before we make an announcement," he said.

There was no immediate prospect for the return of trains on the tracks, he said.

"Cost and patronage mean (trains are) not an option at this stage, but it could be an option 20 or 30 years down the track," he said.

"Let's be far sighted about it and keep the corridor in public ownership."

While the rail trail is yet to be funded, yesterday did see an announcement made on funding for two of the region's most popular tourism events - Sample Food Festival and the Mullumbimby Music Festival.

The festivals will receive $10,000 each under the Regional Flagship Events Program, Minister Barilaro said

The festivals are two of 37 to be awarded grants for the marketing and advertising of important regional events.

"Regional Flagship Events are a great way to entice visitors to our regions to get a taste of what Regional NSW has to offer," he said.

"Holidays or short breaks to Regional NSW can be enhanced by visiting one of these unique events."

Topics:  casino to murwillumbah railway link editors picks rail trail tourism



He served his country but died a lonely death

BEFORE: A photo of Walter Derrett's grave taken in 1934 and printed in the Northern Star.

One of the saddest stories Tales from the Grave has uncovered

Busy year for busy bees restoring neglected duck pond

From left, Mark Bailey and Derek Goodwin of South Lismore Duck Pond Landcare with the Mayor of Lismore Isaac Smith.

South Lismore Duck Pond wins grant to continue much-needed work

Gen Xers more likely to 'chuck a sickie' to go to the beach

One in 7 Australians are more likely to 'chuck a sickie' to go to the beach.

One in 7 Australian workers have taken advantage of sunny weather

Local Partners

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Northern Rivers gig guide

PIRATE FLAG: The Hussy Hick's latest single is a crowd favourite that echoes a sentiment of political scepticism. Hear Pirate Flag at Tintenbar Upfront, Tintenbar Hall, tomorrow 7.30pm. $20.

What's on this week in local entertainment

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!