The Tasmanian Greens today said it was disappointing that the Infrastructure Minister David O’Byrne had dismissed out of hand a proposal for a scenic coastal cycleway along the now defunct rail corridor between Burnie and Smithton.

Greens Member for Braddon Paul O’Halloran MP used today’s TasRail Government Business Enterprise hearing to query the Minister about the proposal, but said the Minister did not seem receptive to the idea.

“It was acknowledged that there were no plans in the near future for the easement and that it would take tens of millions of dollars to upgrade the railway for future rail use,” Mr O’Halloran said.

“It is surely time to think creatively about how the corridor can be part of the transformation of the north-west economy.”

“The north-west has one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines, and there’s no doubting that a coastal cycleway would provide further opportunities to capitalise on the growing bicycle tourism market.”

“A cycleway following the rail line along the north-west coast would be a superb drawcard for tourists arriving on the Spirit of Tasmania, encouraging them to explore the north-west instead of turning east at the highway.”

“We also need to think about the benefits that will flow to the community through the promotion of a healthy, active lifestyle.”

“Large stretches of a cycleway between Devonport and Wynyard have already been recently completed and now would be a good time to start a coordinated and concerted push to bring this project to completion,” Mr O’Halloran said.

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