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In May 2013, the not for profit community group, Northern Rivers Rail Trail Association Inc, was formed by local philanthropists known as the Sourdough Group, community volunteers, local government councillors and staff and leaders of the tourist industry. The group came together with a common vision to preserve this very valuable community asset, the 130km of disused rail corridor between Murwillumbah and Casino and converting it to a modern cycle and walking trail through the region’s spectacular landscapes. The Rail Trail will be for the local community to use for getting to school, work and sport, shopping and recreation and by visitors seeking either a new way to experience the region’s scenery, food and culture or a more adventurous experience.
This valuable community asset must not continue to go to waste.

We must have a good point. We already have nearly 4000 supporters signed up and prior to the last Federal Election all House of Representative candidates, no matter their party, supported the concept of a rail trail.
Four of the six local authorities in the Northern Rivers Region support it and the other two are in the process of considering its benefits to their communities.

Our Purpose

To provide a team of experts, a “meeting place” and process to ensure the Northern Rivers rail corridor from Murwillumbah to Casino is protected in the long term. To be on top of the issues, well informed and focused on outcomes that work well for most of the region’s community. To ensure practical and achievable outcomes are at the fore of our activities.

Our Aims

  1. To deliver the best outcome for the region’s community.
  2. To ensure we represent a broad cross-section of community views.
  3. To deliver a walking and cycling trail that is compatable with short and long term active transport needs of the region including commuter light rail where practical.
  4. To deliver a funding approach and business plan that will not be a burden to local government or the community.
  5. To link and help unite the region’s villages and towns.
  6. To provide residents of all ages of our community with opportunities for intra and inter village commuter access.
  7. To provide an opportunity to shift the visitor market from partying to adventure and good health and to distribute visitors throughout the region.
  8. To deliver many and varied business opportunities and jobs.


The Northern Rivers Rail Trail Inc Steering Committee


Pat Grier AM - President
Ian Oelrichs OAM - Vice President
Steve Martin - Secretary and New Zealand rep
Marie Lawton - Treasurer & Supporter Liaison  rep
Cameron Arnold - Tourism industry rep (President VIA Byron)

John Bennett - Community rep
Dr James Cowley - Sourdough rep

Local Government Representives

Cr Sol Ibrahim - Byron Shire Councillor
Pat Knight - Engineering and Operations, Tweed Shire Council
Mitch Lowe - Tourism coordinator, Lismore City Council

Ex-officio Members

Martin Brook - Chair Food industry Committee
Geoff Meers - Chair Technical and Design Committee