The Armidale Business Chamber, through its Management Committee, has resolved to support the creation of a rail trail along the existing railway line between Armidale and Glenn Innes. This follows the publication of a strategic assessment of the rail trail of developing the rail trail, conducted by Mike Halliburton and Transfer Pty Ltd.
Said President, Anthony Fox, 'the establishment of the Rail Trail is a very significant development in terms of recreation for both local residents and tourists. The Chamber supports the Trail on the disused railway line from Armidale to Glen Innes, a distance of some 103 kilometres'. Said Fox, 'the prospect of the railway line being used again are next to nil. Being proactive and using the space for a rail trail will enhance our local economy and help businesses in the region, generating an estimated $4.5 million each year. There are a number of stakeholders involved including Guyra Business Chamber, Glen Innes Council and Armidale Regional Council which has now swung behind it.
There is still much to be done, with a State election looming. The next stage is to have the Business Case prepared - a necessary step to obtaining government funding. In concert with the key stakeholders, the Committee will seek financial contributions up to a total of $25,000 from Chamber members as well as non members, for the next phase, the Business Case. It is likely we will need community support for subsequent phases of the development of the Rail Trail.'
Anthony Fox concluded 'this is an exciting project that, when delivered, will offer significant economic return to our community. As such I see this as a project for the community as much as for Armidale Regional Council, and look forward to community support.'