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Old Rail Trail to be Revitalized

A North East Rail Trail

The Tasmanian Greens today pledged $500,000 to kick-start the North east Rail Trail project, saying it will reinvigorate the local economies of regional communities.

Greens Member for Bass, Kim Booth MP, said the 89 kilometre trail along the disused rail line from Launceston to Billycock Hill is estimated to bring in increase tourism expenditure in the region by $3.5 million each year after five years post construction.[1]

“The North East Rail Trail is a great opportunity to boost tourism and regional employment whilst showcasing with a unique experience the beauty and diversity of the North East,” Mr Booth said.

“Tourists and locals alike will be able to enjoy a safe cycle or walk, on a even graded track with the towns on route providing interesting history as well as food and refreshments.”

“The trail will become another jewel in the crown of North East attractions, providing free access, great exercise and a reason to stay a day or two extra in our region.”

“Cycling tourists are estimated to spend in excess of $2000 per visit while in Tasmania.” [2]

“The trail proposal has been on the table for years and is well supported, so let’s just get on with the job and build it.”

“A significant part of the cost of the trail is the removal of the disused tracks and ballast and our policy requires Tas Rail to remove them in the same way that any other property owner has to when they abandon a development.”

“Tas Rail’s initial clean up will make this project shovel ready and easy to complete, with the $500,000 funding allowing for an immediate start and a catalyst for further community support.”

A copy of the North East Rail Trail policy initiative is available for download.

[1]  North East Rail Trail: Preliminary Demand and Economic Benefit Assessment, prepared by TRC Tourism, February       2014; pg 16.

[2] ibid; pg 5.