Supporters of a rail trail between Casino and Eltham have backed the idea with their own cash, raising more than $75,000 in just four weeks.
The Northern Rivers Rail Trail Association has been running a crowd-funding campaign, with the money to be used to help fund an engineering plan for the rail trail.
The campaign closed at 8am on 6 July with more than $75,500 raised from over 770 donations. Some donations started at $2.00, with an average donation of $50.00.
Lismore City Council and Richmond Valley Council are also contributing $50,000 each towards the plan, which will be submitted to the state government for consideration.
NRRTA spokesperson Marie Lawton said ‘the people of the northern rivers have spoken through their generous support of the rail trail in this campaign’.
‘They want the Rail Trail and they want it as soon as possible. It is now time for governments and local councils to get on board and start implementing this exciting project,’ Ms Lawton said.
There is $100 million available now, through RESART NSW – Regional Growth -Environment and Tourism and there will be a further 2 rounds of $100 million. The engineering study will help make the case for allocation of some of this money for the rail trail.
At the same time, Tweed Council are waiting for the results of their submission to State and Federal Governments for funding the other end of the trail at Murwillimbah.
‘The community really wants this trail constructed, for jobs, for tourism, and for a safe pathway for bikes, horses, walking, wheelchairs and prams. Physical and mental health go hand in hand with exercise, and a safe trail is an easy way to incorporate daily activity.
‘We just need to get it started either from Murwillumbah or from Casino – or maybe both, and it will grow! A big thank you to all our supporters for their generosity and commitment to make this happen,’ Ms Lawton said.