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Byron Shire
February 1, 2023

Time for a rail trail

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The consultant’s report by Burchills Engineering Solutions (October 2021) to inform Byron Council on options for the Mullum-to-Bruns cycleway makes the following points (page 29) when summarising Option A (the Rail Trail): ‘…the rail corridor north from Brunswick Heads to Billinudgel is identified as a priority route in the Council’s 10-year Bike Plan. The railway line north of Byron Shire is identified-from Crabbes Creek to Murwillumbah – as now formally closed’ and ‘using the rail corridor will possibly create some further momentum and open possible funding opportunities to further develop a rail trail north to the shire boundary’.

In my view these other ‘opportunities’ should be actively pursued by Byron Council. 

Gaining funding to extend the rail trail from Wooyung to Billinudgel immediately opens up the rail trail north for local residents.

Having ridden on rail trails overseas and interstate the advantages for money and tourism coming into the Shire are clear.

Ron White, Brunswick Heads

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  1. In 2016 Tweed Shire Council invited Byron Shire Council to discuss including the five kilometre stretch between the shire boundary and Billinudgel in the Tweed Valley Rail Trail Project. The project team knew that reaching Billinudgel would have been a real destination for the trail greatly increasing its appear to visitors.

    Reaching Billinudgel would access to Old New Brighton Road from where it crosses the corridor, passing under the motorway and Brunswick Valley Way, then on a exiting cycleway running down to South Golden Beach. It would connect to paths right into Brunswick Heads. A popular track already runs from South Golden Beach north to the Wooyung corner just five kilometres from Black Rocks where cycle lanes and the Tweed Coastal Path run all the way to Kingscliff connecting with shared paths to Coolangatta and beyond.

    Even the wildly optimistic Arcadis Multi-Use-Rail-Corridor report commissioned by the Byron Council has ruled out any plausibility of a railway north of Billinudgel. What an opportunity squandered for nothing, especially for the people of north Byron.

    Simon Richardson used his casting vote to ensure that no discussion was even entered into. Such a short sighted decision as this section could have been opening in March along with the TVRT. Richardson was supported by Duncan Dey and Basil Cameron. Fortunately Basil is no longer on council. One down, one to go.


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