Green light for second rail trail pitch in Sydney
TWEED Shire Council will send one of its councillors and its director of engineering to Sydney to try to secure funding for the proposed Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek rail trail route.
Councillors resolved at its recent meeting that councillor Barry Longland and engineering director David Oxenham would head to Parliament House on March 22 for the Rail Trails for NSW relaunch.
The move comes after a failed bid last year for the state to fund a $75million Murwillumbah to Casino route.
The motion to support the new rail trail route was supported 4:2, but not before some debate, with councillor Gary Bagnall and Mayor Katie Milne against the idea of a shorter, 25km recreational cycle trail, which is estimated to cost $13million.
“I find it hard to accept the extreme advocacy for this rail trail. We’ve had two flights to Sydney already and it will cost ratepayers $275,000,” Cr Milne said.
Councillor Carolyne Byrne supported the rail trail for its potential for ad hoc tourism ventures.
Councillor Warren Polglase also supported the trail, comparing the debate to those held before the Tweed Regional Art Gallery was developed.
It comes as the Northern Rivers Railway Action Group ramps up its campaign for a Murwillumbah to Casino train line instead.
Spokeswoman Beth Shelley said the group questioned the 2012 ARUP report, which estimated the cost of the 130km railway at $953m, or $7.25m per km.
She said the Alice Springs to Darwin railway cost $1.2b for 1420km, “so if the Casino Murwillumbah line was costed at the same rate, it would cost $110m, not $953m”.