The recent failure of a federal funding bid to secure $6.5 million for the Tweed’s 24-kilometre stage of the northern rivers rail-trail project from Murwillumbah railway station to Crabbes Creek has prompted backers to look for other options to fund it.
Tweed Shire Council’s engineering director, David Oxenham, said council still believed the project was viable and would welcome any other avenues to secure the necessary funding.
Council has allotted $600,000 for the project and the state government last month promised $6.5 million toward it, all dependent on the federal ‘Building Better Regions’ funding bid.
Backers of the project were disappointed on the lack of federal support, after the initial joy at the state funding announcement, but detractors who fear removal of the disused rail corridor will prevent future rail transport, quietly welcomed the news.
The project has thus only managed to secure half the $13 million cost for the project.
Mr Oxenham thanked local state and federal MPs who had supported the project and ‘recognised the tremendous economic and public health boost the rail trail would bring to the Tweed and the northern rivers’.
‘It would be a real lost opportunity of we were unable to convert thje disused rail corridor into a major asset for this area, so we will continue to look for funding opportunities,’ he said.