Northern Rivers Rail Trail Legislation goes before NSW Parliament

Here is an update for those keeping an eye on progress of rail trails in NSW, after all they are some of favourite places to have Bike North tours.

The legislation was introduced two weeks ago, and last week on the 23rd it passed the the Legislative Assembly with some minor amendments with support from both the major parties. So now it goes before the upper house. The act ensures the current government land stays in public ownership and can only be leased to a public subsidiary corporation, e.g. a local council, and must be used for recreation, tourism or community and related purposes.

Unlike other states, in NSW it requires an act of parliament to ‘close’ a rural government rail line, even if it has been in a ‘disused’ status for many years. A line must be ‘closed’ by legislation to allow railway tracks to be removed, and organisations such as council allowing access. Like the Tumbarumba – Rosewood Rail Trail, which is already showing a high level of usage even in covid times, this one has also been many years of advocacy in the making.