Support for North-East Rail Trail

THE Greens have pledged their support towards the North-East Rail Trail, saying its development will provide an economic boost through tourism to an area that desperately needs it.

The trail is about 89 kilometres from Launceston to Billycock Hill, taking in Scottsdale, Lilydale, Karoola, Lalla, Tunnel, Lebrina and Nabowla, and  would add value to existing mountain bike trails in the area.

The party says it plans to work with TasRail to remove disused railway assets to help make the trail ready for use, and to provide $500,000 through the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources.

Bass Greens MHA Kim Booth said the trail would become ``another jewel in the crown of North-East attractions''.

``Cycling tourists are estimated to spend in excess of $2000 per visit while in Tasmania,'' Mr Booth said.

``TasRail's initial clean-up will make this project shovel-ready and easy to complete, with the $500,000 funding allowing for an immediate start and a catalyst for further community support.''

The Greens say they have the support of tourist operators such as  The Trig owner  Susie Aulich, whose business offers eco-friendly accommodation at Mount Arthur. 

 Others to champion the   benefits of the trial yesterday included Northern Tasmania Development executive officer Derek Le Marchant,   former secretary of North-East Tasmania tourism Malcolm Reid, Tamar Bicycle Users Group president Malcolm Cowan and Rail Trails Australia's Simon Schorn.

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