Funding for a feasibility into the proposed Riverina Highlands Rail Trail was announced by the NSW Minster for Regional Development, David Campbell. Full details are contained in the press release below.
The study will look at two unused railway lines; the 130km Wagga Wagga to Tumbarumba branch line and the 32km Tumut to Batlow branch line. Click here for more details of the rail trail including map.
Obtaining this funding is a great achievement of the committee and the Riverina Regional Development Board and is a big step in getting more rail trails established in NSW.
The study will be conducted by Mike Maher and Mike Haliburton, who have undertaken numerous investigations into rail trails around Australia. Given that there are of course land holder concerns about these proposals the report brief includes extensive consultation with the community. Five community meetings will be held in March 2006, all 7.00pm – 8.30pm, as follows:
- Forest Hill – Primary school (opposite the RAAF base) Thursday 16th
- Humula – Humula Club Monday 20th
- Tumbarumba – Bowling Club Tuesday 21st
- Batlow – RSL Wednesday 22nd
- Tumut – Shire Council Chambers Thursday 23rd
Railtrails Australia encourages everyone who can to attend at least one meeting to learn more about the proposals and show your support for what could be two fantastic rail trails.
The press release
NSW GOVERNMENT SUPPORT MEANS FULL STEAM AHEAD FOR RAIL TRAIL STUDY
February 28, 2006.
The NSW Government is providing $31,000 for a feasibility study about developing rail trails in the Riverina Highlands, the Minister for Regional Development, David Campbell said today.
Mr Campbell said the funds are being used by the Riverina Regional Development Board to investigate the possibility of turning abandoned railway corridors into local tourism attractions.
“Rail trails are becoming increasingly popular in Australia and overseas,” Mr Campbell said.
“With wineries and other attractions near many trails as well as various types of accommodation, this study will investigate whether rail trails could benefit the local economy by attracting more visitors.”
Mr Campbell said NSW Government support for this project is another example of practical assistance being provided by the Iemma Government as an investment in the future of the Riverina’s economy.
“The Riverina Highlands rail trail feasibility study will look at possible rail trails from Wagga Wagga to Tumbarumba (130km) and Batlow to Tumut (32km).
“These lines ceased operation in the mid 1980s and the Riverina Regional Development Board has worked with regional stakeholders to examine options for developing rail trails in the Riverina Highlands.
“It’s expected the study will be completed by the middle of this year.”
Riverina based Country Labor MLC Tony Catanzariti today welcomed NSW Government support for the feasibility study.
“This is about encouraging more people to visit the region and exploring new ways to attract visitors,” Mr Catanzariti said.
“Tourism is an important regional industry and I look forward to hearing about the results of this study,” he said.
Funding for the Riverina Highlands rail trail feasibility study is being provided through the NSW Government’s Regional Development Board Innovation Program.
Over the past three years, the Riverina Regional Development Board has received $390,000 of NSW Government funding for nine projects aimed at attracting jobs and investment to the region.