THERE is renewed hope for the establishment of the Goulburn to Crookwell Rail Trail, following the announcement of new funding by the State Government.
A rail trail is a multi-use recreation trail constructed on a disused railway corridor (public land) for use by walkers and cyclists.
Goulburn Mulwaree proposed a 56 kilometre rail trail between Goulburn and Crookwell to the State Government for funding in 2014. The funding instead went to the Tumbarumba-Rosewood Trail.
The State Government has just announced $300 million funding under the Regional Growth Environment and Tourism Fund, with the first round offering of $100 million.
Goulburn Mulwaree Mayor Bob Kirk said the council was keen to re-apply with the rail trail under this new funding.
“They are seeking regionally transformative projects that have the capacity to deliver jobs and economic growth, with co-investment by the applicant or the Commonwealth,” Cr Kirk said.
“Our project was costed at $15 million in 2015 and we have done the feasibility study, completed the trail development plan and consulted with about 180 landowners along the abandoned line.
“We are applying again. We have done the work and have the costings though already. This project is shovel-ready and could deliver great benefits to the region.”
Cr Kirk said such benefits included attracting up to 35,000 people a year to the trail, who would inject an estimated $3.4 million into the local economy.
“The catchment for this project is enormous, with about 75 per cent of NSW [residents] living within 2.5 hours of our proposed rail trail. They could come and make a great family weekend of riding along it,” he said.
Cr Kirk said a report was going to Tuesday’s council meeting, so the council could make a joint application with Upper Lachlan Shire Council under the new funding regime.
“There are new councillors on both of those councils, so this motion is to reaffirm our position on this project,” he said.
“If both councils are supportive and we tick all of the boxes in the EOI phase, we are hoping the government will invite us to submit a full application in April or May.”