Labor secures vital public protection for rail trail legislation

In Parliament | 22.06.17

Labor’s amendment to a Rail Trail Bill, agreed to by Parliament yesterday, gives a green light to the development of the State’s first ever rail trail. 

The historic amendment ensures that the Rosewood and Tumbarumba rail line, once closed, cannot be sold off and is protected as publicly owned Crown Land. 

Labor has given its full support for the creation of rail trails which can be converted to bicycle and walking trails to promote regional tourism. 

The amendment to the Transport Administration Amendment (Closure of Railway Line Between Rosewood and Tumbarumba) Bill 2017 ensures that the former rail line in the State’s south by law must become dedicated under the Crown Lands Act 1989, ensuring that any future proposal to sell the land would require the approval of Parliament. 

The Minister for Transport had been forced to accept the Opposition’s amendment after a backlash against the draft Bill, which contained a “Trojan Horse” provision that enabled the Minister of the day to sell off the line. 

In speaking on the Bill, Labor paid tribute to Rail Trails NSW for their commitment to establish the Rosewood to Tumbarumba line as the first rail trail in NSW. 

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism Penny Sharpe 

“Our amendment gets this Bill over the line and opens the way to what should be an important tourist drawcard and job creator in the Tumbarumba district. 

“This legislation now reflects a Bill that Labor tried to put through Parliament in 2014 – so we are very pleased that we have brought the rail trail concept into law. 

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport Jodi McKay 

“Labor’s amendment now ensures the rail line, once closed, will return as publicly owned Crown Land. 

“Minister Constance tried to push through a sneaky sale provision, and it is pleasing that Parliament has put an end to his plans. 

“The establishment of the first rail trail in NSW has been supported by Rail Trails NSW and Labor thanks them for their vision and persistence.