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A change in route to the North-East’s heritage railway and bike rail trail is on the cards.
At the City of Launceston’s council meeting on Monday, September 24, an alternative route was outlined as the council’s preferred outcome with both projects.
The new route would see the heritage railway run from Turners Marsh to Wyena, instead of ending at Lilydale, and bike rail trail extending from Lilydale Falls to Lilydale.
It also recommended that the council contact the Dorset Council and the Launceston and North-East railway organisation to urge them to work together on the project so that the rail trail and heritage railway could successfully coexist.
The correspondence would ask that the Dorset Council request additional funding from the state government for the rail trail portion of the project.
The directorate item passed after an amendment to the motion failed.
The amendment, made by Alderman Emma Williams, sought to remove the alternate routes and urge for additional funding from the Dorset Council from the recommendation.
Aldermen were then asked to vote to note the recommendations of the report prepared by the Department of Treasury and Finance, and to urge the community organisations to work together.
Alderman Williams said it was not the council’s place to ask the Dorset Council to request additional funding for the project.
Alderman McKendrick said if the amendment were to pass, the council would have “taken out anything that had guts”.
“We have done nothing,” he said.
Alderman McKendrick said he was a supporter of the railway running from Launceston through to Scottsdale.
However, he was in favor of the proposed extension to the railway as it would give tourist greater access to the Bridestowe Lavender Farm.
Deputy mayor Rob Soward said there were a lot of people passionate about both projects, and it was causing divisions in the community.
“We need to get this right. We need to have a position,” he said.
The original motion passed.
Aldermen Karina Stojansek, Hugh McKenzie, and Williams voted against the recommendation.
The original route.
This article first appeared on www.examiner.com.au
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