Monaro Rail Trail on Track for Construction

It’s a promising move for the MRT. Last week at the Council meeting held in Bombala, Snowy Mountains Regional Council passed a resolution to apply for a $1m grant. This grant would enable a start to trail construction.

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Media Release - Bombala Community Petition in Support of Rail Trail Development

A petition to demonstrate local support to hasten development of the MRT was initiated by a local committee formed by the Bombala Chamber of Commerce. The petition with 150 signatures was handed to the President of the MRT and will be used as part of the MRT business case demonstrating community support.

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Media Release - Bombala Precinct Trail Opens

Part of the planning for the Monaro Rail Trail is to set up short trails at each village and town along the route. These are intended to provide an opportunity for visitors to explore the local village and may encourage them to stay a little longer. The trails also serve as a recreation facility for the local residents.

The Bombala Precinct Trail is the first of these and is now open.

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Media Release - Funding for Monaro Rail Trail Development Plan

Funding of almost $273,000 is being provided by the NSW Government for a Development Plan for the Monaro Rail Trail (MRT) concept. Member for Monaro Nichole Overall said it was an important step in the constructive progress of the MRT proposal…

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Media Release - Labor to Invest in the Monaro Rail Trail

Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain has announced that a Labor Government will kick start the development of the Monaro Rail Trail.

Labor will commit $1 million to begin works on the recreational cycle trail along the disused rail corridor from Bombala to Queanbeyan, with initial works to focus on the Bombala to Jincumbilly phase of the project.

"The community has been advocating for this project for a long time and I’m so pleased to be able to make this commitment,” Ms McBain said.

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Councilor Election Briefing Note on The Monaro Rail Trail

To the future Councilors of the Snowy Monaro Regional Council and the Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council, Monaro Rail Trail Inc. committee, its members and the community will be keen to know your views about the importance of the rail trail to this region. The upcoming 2021 Local Government Election is one avenue through which you can make your views known. We issue regular newsletters to all our stakeholders and Facebook followers and invite you to include a quotation or short article in our next newsletter which will reach out to a broad audience.

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Read the Candidates Responses

Draft Feasability Report Summary

Should it be developed, the Monaro Rail Trail will be a world-class rail trail. It is likely to attract users from not only from all over Australia but from all around the world – just as the equally spectacular Otago Central Rail Trail (OCRT) on the South Island of New Zealand does. In fact, there is an inevitable comparison between the OCRT and the proposed Monaro Rail Trail. The OCRT is a multi-day adventure in the high country of New Zealand (a 3-day bike ride for most cyclists). It passes through sheep stations and numerous towns and small villages. It provides views of distant snow-capped mountains for most of the year. It has brought prosperity to small towns and businesses (including farms) that were in decline.

This Feasibility Study has included an extensive community consultation programme and the results of that consultation are presented in this report. It is significant that of the 507 responses received by Council through an on-line survey, 95.9% supported the proposed rail trail.

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Pre Feasability Report Summary

This study was a broad look at the case for establishing a recreational trail for cyclists, walkers and runners along the 213 km of the disused rail corridor. It looked at strengths and weaknesses of the proposal and gave some indicative assessments of economic benefits and costs.

Economic benefits come from rail trail users seeking refreshments, meals and accommodation, in villages and towns along the route. Tourists already in the region might extend their stay with a short bike ride of a day or two. This group of users will add $1m to the economy.

New tourists from the strong cycling community in Canberra will be attracted by the multi day ride and will add $3m to the economy. Combined, both groups will expand the annual regional tourism economy by $4m, a 6% increase.

MRT President, Ms Mary Walters of Cooma, referred to the 17 year old Otago rail trail in NZ which draws domestic and international users who contribute A$10 m to the Otago region economy. The Monaro Rail Trail once established with good quality services and with sound marketing would achieve similar or stronger results.

The study concluded that the rail trail would be beneficial to the region and that a more detailed study was warranted. The Snowy Monaro Shire will be funding this study of costs and benefits.

Snowy Monaro General Manager Peter Bascomb says “Council is grateful to MRT for this report, which we’ll use as the starting point for the more detailed study which Council has planned.”

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