The proposed Tumut to Batlow Rail Trail
Posted on 23/02/16
Rail Trails for NSW hosted the official launch of the proposed Tumut to Batlow on Sat 20th February 2016. RTforNSW Chairman, John Moore, opened the launch at 1.30pm at the Tumut Bowling Club. The launch was attended by approximately 70 people from various areas of NSW. The chairman of the Tumut – Batlow RT, Phil Barton, gave a power point presentation on the proposal, explaining the great benefits it would bring to the area, and showed some photographs of the wonderful mountain scenery along the railway route.
The agenda for the launch included a few short presentations from people who had proposed rail trails in the near vicinity of Batlow and Tumut. This included the Coolac – Tumblong RT proposal, the Culcairn – Corowa RT, the Bungendore – Captains Flat, the Goulburn – Crookwell RT proposal, and the Queanbeyan – Cooma Rail Trail.
The common theme, and reason for these presentations, was that they were basically all in the same geographical locality, and like Victoria, people would be able to go from one trail to the other very easily. “Local people, including those within 2 to 3 hours drive, will be the most frequent users of any trail. One of the main benefits is to attract tourists from further afield. It was stated that people will travel quite long distances if there is a long trail or there are several trails nearby, providing a variety of experiences that can take several days to complete and that make a longer journey to get there worthwhile.
Owen Fitzgerald the chairman of the Riverina Highlands Rail Trail gave the forum an update on the proposed “Pilot Trail” between Tumbarumba and Rosewood, a distance of 21km. He explained that the State Government had allocated and reserved $5 million for this project, and that there were now only three meetings left with various government departments, before this project could proceed.
Tim Coen, the deputy chair of RTforNSW, then gave a presentation on the FAQ’s document, in particular about the issues farmers and adjoining landholders often raise. Basically most issues that have ever been thought of had possible solutions explained in detail in the document referred to.
The meeting finished with Phil Barton giving a very emotional and stirring speech, which really touched everyone in the room, and gave them a firm resolve to keep going.