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THE Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Adam Marshall, and Lismore MP Thomas George were in Murwillumbah today to announce State Government funding for a rail trail between Murwillumbah and Crabbes Creek.
Mr Marshall said he hoped that now the State Government have announced their commitment to the trail, the Federal Government would soon follow.
"We're reserving $6.3 million and hopefully the Commonwealth will match that funding, Tweed Shire Council have an application in with the Federal Government at the moment for that funding and their making a contribution of a bit under half a million dollars," Mr Marshall said.
The next stage for the project was for the State Government to gauge community support through community consultations.
"We will begin formal community consultation next month with the communities along the rail trail route, which is a precursor to the introduction of legislation into the State Parliament to legally close that section of the rail line which then allows the construction of the rail trail to get under way," Mr Marshall said.
Mr George said he hoped today's announcement would get the Tweed Shire Council and Northern Rivers Rail Trail Committee closer to their target.
"The Tweed Shire Council and the Northern Rivers Rail Trail have been for some years now trying to obtain funding for this project to go ahead," he said.
"They've continually, as two organisations, been pushing this as one."
"I have had a number of discussions with the office of Fiona Nash and they're now aware that we are making this announcement today and then they have a process they've got to go through now."
Mr Marshall said they hope to receive the Federal Governments decision by the end of August.
Mr George also noted the timeliness of the announcement as the Richmond Valley Council and Lismore City Council have also been working towards a rail trail on their line.
"(With) the support of the community and their fundraising, they will now go ahead to put their application together to be able for us to take that forward to the State and Federal Government as well," he said.
This article first appeared on www.northernstar.com.au
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