FUN CYCLING: Rail Trails offer fun cycling for all levels and ages of bike riders and supporters of the Northern Rivers Trail are asking the community to sign their e-petition to secure funding for the next section of the project which they say will bring much need tourism dollars to the region. Photo: Explore magazine.
FUN CYCLING: Rail Trails offer fun cycling for all levels and ages of bike riders and supporters of the Northern Rivers Trail are asking the community to sign their e-petition to secure funding for the next section of the project which they say will bring much need tourism dollars to the region. Photo: Explore magazine.

Rail trail rides high in the saddle with new e-petition

SUPPORTERS of the Northern Rivers Rail Rail, which is expected to bring much needed tourism spending to the region, have created an e-petition to secure more funding.

And they hope that people who have not yet made up their minds about the issue will consider the positive impact which a rail trails have brought to other rural communities around the countries, boosting local businesses and creating jobs.

Rail trail advocate Glynis Ritchie has registered an e-petition to the NSW parliament to call upon them to fund the rest of stage two of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, from Bentley to Eltham.

Ms Ritchie said the Casino to Bentley stretch was already fully funded.

"The legislation is hopefully to be finalised this week to allow the Rail Trail construction to progress and therefore the rail trail is in the minds of government at the moment - a good time to raise the funding issue," she said.

"So, can you please as a matter of urgency go to the link below and sign the petition and then share this information with all of your supportive contacts.

"Our aim is a fast and hard campaign for at least 5000 signatures in the first two weeks to show overwhelming community support."

She said in 2019 the Federal Government committed full funding of $7.5 million for the construction of part of stage two, 13.4km of the rail trail from Casino to Bentley.

"The NSW Government has yet to act," she said.

"We call upon the NSW Government to develop a funding package for the completion of stage two, Bentley to Eltham (32 km)."

Ms Ritchie said recently, legislation was passed to close the Casino to Murwillumbah rail corridor from Casino to Bentley.

"It is only logical to continue this great project by funding the rest of this section that is outlined in the comprehensive Casino to Eltham Rail Trail Business Case," she said.

"Completing the 45 km stage from Casino to Eltham section will provide maximum returns, in job creation, small business development, increased tourism, environmental sustainability and health benefits to all who use it."

The global bicycle market is projected to grow from US$45 billion in 2016 to US$62 billion by 2024, according to US data posted on Cycling Queensland's website.



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