Paul Heymans, president, Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Users Association.
A couple of years ago I had occasion to visit the Northern Rivers region and crossed over the old railway line several times. I thought to myself then, what a stunning rail trail that could be.
I just wanted to congratulate Tweed Shire Council and the Northern Rivers Rail Trail supporters for bringing it all together.
Every rail trail has its naysayers, but when an old railway corridor is repurposed as a rail trail it brings nothing but good to the region.
I can speak from experience, having fought a long and often difficult campaign to get the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail here in Queensland completed.
Many of our landowners who were concerned about biosecurity have come to realise the risk is negligible. There has been no outbreak in crime recorded by the police, apart from occasional illegal motorbikes on the trail.
An old railway corridor is never going to repurposed as a light railway because it would cost billions of dollars to bring the corridor and all those bridges and tunnels up to modern safety standards. In any case, light railway will soon be superseded by new transport technologies that don’t even use rails as we move away from fossil fuels.
By contrast, a rail trail brings in millions of tourism dollars and encourages a more active lifestyle that saves millions of dollars in health costs.
What could be a better use for a disused old railway corridor than giving so much enjoyment and pleasure to so many people?
The Northern Rivers Rail Trail (Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek) will be one of the most scenic in the country.
It will be an amazing asset for your region. I can’t wait to come and give it a go when it’s completed.