Rail trail crowdfunding campaign steaming ahead
A CROWDFUNDING campaign to raise money towards an engineering and business case for a rail trail from Casino to Eltham has raised more than $30,000 in its first 10 days.
So far 249 people have supported the campaign with with $32,136 raised as of Friday lunchtime.
Northern Rivers Rail Trail public liaison officer Marie Lawton said the response had been "reassuring".
"People have been really supportive, some people have been giving really big donations, and a lot of people have been giving whatever they can afford," she said.
"It's reassuring, it shows people do want it to happen."
The money raised in the campaign will combine with $100,000 already pledged by Richmond Valley and Lismore councils towards a business case and engineering study for a trail from Casino to Eltham.
The two councils are planning to lodge an application for funding via the NSW Government's $300 million Regional Growth - Environment and Tourism Fund.
Tweed Shire is also advancing with their plans to build a trail from Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek with an application for $13 million in funding currently before both the Federal and State governments.
Ultimately it's hoped both rail trails will connect through Byron Shire.
Richmond Valley Council general manager Vaughan McDonald recently said in an interview that his council was fully onboard with the rail trail.
Lismore mayor Isaac Smith has also supported the project, calling for people to get behind it.
Ms Lawton said it was vital to raise as much money as possible in order for both councils, with community's assistance, to prepare a detailed plan for the trail.
"Putting in a submission without getting a detailed plan is not going to be as well received as if we make a concerted effort," she said.
"Every little bit is going to help - but obviously the more we get, the better the plan we can do."
Ms Lawton urged people who had thought about donating to please "do it now".