As noted in an earlier news item, in September 2009 the NSW Transport Minister, Mr David Campbell, introduced legislation into Parliament to enable the construction of rail trails in NSW on disused government railway lines.
The minister has shown his genuine support for rail trails by amending the legislation to address sections that caused significant community concern. The amendments will mean:
the actual corridor land itself will not be able to be sold (only old tracks and sleepers etc on the corridors), and
nothing will be able to be done to an old line unless train services have ceased for over 15 years ago.
This legislation is a vital step in allowing NSW communities to enjoy the benefits of rail trails like those in all the other states and overseas. And there are some wonderful rail trails proposed that when developed will be able to be enjoyed by all Australians. Refer List here.
Once again, now is the time for all rail trail supporters to contact the government, opposition parties and the media, and express your support for the development of rail trails on disused rail corridors NOW.
Minister Campbell and thank him for having the courage and foresight to introduce this legislation and listen to community concerns.
We understand the Victorian Nationals have been long-term supporters of Rail Trails and bicycle infrastructure in regional communities and would hope that the NSW Nationals can do the same.
The corridors, which local groups have been working on for many years to have rail trails developed, have been disused for at least several decades. Using a corridor as a rail trails ensures that what is left of them now is preserved (some have already been cut by development). The legislation specifically allows for a rail service to be restored should the need arise.
The following documents were provided by the Transport Minister’s office.