Rail Trail Inspection: Pictured at the abandoned Bangalow railway station are politicians Kris Beavis (NSW Nationals candidate for Ballina), Minister for Regional Tourism, John Barilaro and Member for Ballina Don Page with Northern Rivers Rail Trail supporters Marie Lawton and Steve Martin Photo Megan Kinninment / Northern Star
Rail Trail Inspection: Pictured at the abandoned Bangalow railway station are politicians Kris Beavis (NSW Nationals candidate for Ballina), Minister for Regional Tourism, John Barilaro and Member for Ballina Don Page with Northern Rivers Rail Trail supporters Marie Lawton and Steve Martin Photo Megan Kinninment / Northern Star Megan Kinninment

Mayor fears trail money may go south

The Minister for Regional Tourism John Barilaro announced this week Expressions of Interest were open for councils to pitch for the funding.

Cr Bagnall is worried Byron Shire is likely to get a bigger slice of the pie and has demanded the support of local state MPs for Tweed Shire Council's bid.

According to the Casino to Murwillumbah Rail Trail Study, priority would be given to Byron, Bangalow and Mullumbimby, he said.

Cr Bagnall attempted to pass a motion at the last council meeting for the council to ask Lismore MP Thomas George and Tweed MP Geoff Provest George for a dollar amount commitment.

Cr Bagnall said the motion was watered down with the council instead resolving to write to the state MPs to seek "continued support for the building of a rail trail ... in the context of the upcoming State elections".

"I was attempting to get in before an announcement like the one we have before us," Cr Bagnall said.

"I ... want an absolute guarantee from Geoff Provest and Thomas George that Tweed Shire will be included in the first round of any funding spent on a rail trail because at this point in time it is a tendering process that closes three days after the election in March."

Mr George denied that any local council had been earmarked for priority in funding and said that a meeting for all interested parties would be announced soon.

"Representations by MP for Ballina Don Page and myself and interested parties have always looked at the Rail Trail as a whole for the Northern Rivers and not as pieces, and we have not allocated preferences to any particular local area."

Meanwhile, a 2.6km pilot from Murwillumbah station to Tweed Regional Gallery is it's final stages of planning.

Rail Trail Expressions of Interest must be submitted to Infrastructure NSW by March 31.



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