1. Home

Crowdfunding campaign launched for rail trail business plan

GISC Council Logo smallNERT Incorporated logo

A crowdfunding campaign to develop a business plan for a rail trail on the disused section of the Great Northern Railway line between Armidale and Glen Innes was launched today by New England Rail Trail Incorporated and supported by Armidale Regional Council and Glen Innes Severn Council.

Both Councils resolved to support a rail trail which is anticipated to be a key tourism driver for the New England High Country region. Armidale Regional Council has already financially supported the rail trail concept by funding an independent feasibility study last year and Glen Innes Severn Council has contributed funds towards the business plan.

A key process of the plan will be to identify engagement opportunities with the broader community to ensure that everyone is well informed and understands what a rail trail is particularly for those residents that have property adjacent to the disused section of the Great Northern Railway line.

Armidale Regional Council Mayor Cr Simon Murray said the business plan is a key document that will outline the business case for the project and identify engagement opportunities.

“The completion of a business plan will allow both Councils to make informed decisions about the financial impacts of maintaining the rail trail and weighing this up with the economic, tourism and recreational benefits to the New England region,” said Cr Murray

“We will ensure that the broader community is well informed about the project and that all stakeholders are engaged throughout the process and any misconceptions are cleared up and based on the facts.

“I have no doubt that the rail trial will be a huge tourism and recreational drawcard for our region. Rail trials in other part of Australia have already proven to be highly attractive destinations for visitors craving a unique experience. We have a jewel in the crown just sitting idle that has huge potential and we must capitalise.”

The crowdfunding campaign is aiming to raise $75k in total which will allow a 3 part business plan to be developed firstly for the Black Mountain to Ben Lomond section and then for the Armidale to Black Mountain and Ben Lomond to Glen Innes sections.

Both Councils along with the community organisation New England Rail Trail Incorporated are urging the New England region to get behind the initiative and donate.

Glen Innes Severn Mayor Cr Carol Sparks said that without the business plan in place and the support of the New England region we will be unable to lobby the State Government for funding.

“By contributing as little as the price of a cup of coffee you are making a huge difference in bringing a rail trail to our region,” said Cr Sparks

“Now is the time to show vision and collaboration between the community and the councils in the region to work together and bring change and prosperity. We need to show the State Government that this project is a priority for all of us and will deliver a wonderful tourism asset that will drive visitation to the New England High Country.”

A crowdfunding page has been established at chuffed.org along with a promotional video and important facts about the project.

Go to https://chuffed.org/project/new-england-rail-trail-crowdfund-business-plan-2019-copy

Latest stories

News

Water restrictions
Armidale is currently on Level 4 water restrictions and Guyra is on Level 5.
Historic house accommodates water savings
Retrofitting a 120-year-old building to be more water efficient can have exceptional challenges – just ask the Coop family. Beth and her son Paul are working closely with Council to curb Smith House’s water consumption, in response to the Level 5 restrictions currently in place.
New airport bore supports aerial firefighting
Rural Fire Service aerial activities in the area will be provided with water from a new bore established at Armidale Regional Airport, removing a potential need to source water from town water supplies.
Test drilling brings positive signs for Guyra bores
Test drilling to locate possible ground water supplies will move to the Armidale town area next week, following success with test bores in and around Guyra.
Quicker payments to assist business
Council will pay local suppliers more quickly to help ease the financial strain being experienced by business during the current drought.
Live stream the Ordinary Council Meeting
You can now live stream the Ordinary Council Meeting 27 November 2019
Pools buzzing with school lessons
Students from many of the region’s schools are descending on Armidale’s Monckton Aquatic Centre and Guyra Swimming Pool for learn-to-swim and lifesaving lessons during November and December. Until 18 December, there will be some interruptions to lap swimming at Monckton Aquatic Centre and general admission to Guyra Swimming Pool.
Pure lessons in water security
Armidale Community Preschool has a strong emphasis on bringing its children in touch with nature. Now the preschool’s latest activity has helped to reduce its consumption of the region’s dwindling town water supply and take the Allingham Street facility towards water self-sufficiency.
Armidale Regional Plan 2040
Now is the time for the Armidale region community to share their views and opinions on the future plans for our city, towns and villages to shape our vision for growth and prosperity and give certainty and direction for the next 20 years.
Christmas in the Mall postponed
Council has made the decision to postpone the Christmas in the Mall celebrations in Armidale scheduled for tomorrow afternoon from 5pm-9pm.
Concrete action by business for water savings
Water saving has been on the radar for Armidale concrete and earthworks company Ducats for a number of years but current water restrictions have sped up its conservation efforts and brought remarkable results.