A world-class walking and cycling trail between Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek is set to become a reality with the NSW Government today confirming $7.8 million in funding for the construction of the Tweed stage of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail project.

Member for Tweed Geoff Provest MP said funding from Restart NSW and a significant contribution from the Commonwealth towards the $14.3 million project will enable 24 kilometres of disused rail corridor to be redeveloped into a shared use rail trail.

“When completed, the Tweed stage of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail will connect Murwillumbah with the villages of Stokers Siding, Burringbar, Mooball and Crabbes Creek, providing a great recreation and tourist destination for locals and visitors,” Mr Provest said.

“Rail trails are popular around the world for walking, cycling and horse riding as they encourage healthy lifestyles while also boosting local tourism, which brings dollars into the region, support local jobs and attracts further investment.

“The Tweed stage will help drive growth for the regional NSW visitor economy and increase tourist numbers to the Northern Rivers, which in the coming years will be more important than ever, in the wake of the current COVID-19 crisis.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said construction of the Tweed Stage will support local jobs and attract tens of thousands of visitors per annum when completed, which will help revitalise the small communities located on the Tweed stage route.

“The Northern Rivers region will benefit greatly from this rail trail, with the health benefits it will delivery and the tourism dollars it will generate helping local communities travel further along on the long road to recovery,” Mr Barilaro said.

“I thank Tweed Shire Council for its commitment to this project and very much look forward to visiting and enjoying a walk or ride along the Tweed Stage rail trail when it is completed.”

The NSW Government is committed to amending the legislation required to formally close the railway line between Murwillumbah and Crabbes Creek, however the COVID-19 adjournment of Parliament means this will be delayed until later this year.

Construction is expected to begin shortly after the legislative amendment is approved.