Multi Use Byron Shire Rail Corridor

Byron multi use rail corridor

Following the tabling of a Mayoral Minute at a meeting in December 2016, Byron Shire Council resolved to support the multi-use of Byron Shire's rail corridor and to prepare for possible funding opportunities.

This resulted in Expressions of Interests being sought for a consultant to prepare a report on the corridor which would outline the current state of infrastructure in Byron Shire's rail corridor to inform an economic feasibility study and also the social impact of different mode options being implemented within the corridor.

Byron is unique in its position in the tourism market and the report will review this position and use tourism as the driver of the project, with community use as an added benefit.

The multi-use is intended to provide options for public transport via a rail-based service for both day trippers and local residents, as well as various tourism products. The report is also looking at how a walking/cycling path will integrate with public transport to ensure the use of the corridor is maximised.

 The project is broadly broken into three segments of the final report:

1. Infrastructure Assessment of existing assets and the required assets/upgrades to allow each use within the corridor.

2. Economic Feasibility Study that will be informed by the Infrastructure Assessment to determine a likely cost-benefit of each use within the corridor.

3. Social Impact Assessment that will link closely with the Economic Feasibility Study to determine the social impacts (both positive and negative) of each use within the corridor.

In September this year, Council awarded a tender to Arcadis Australia Pacific Pty Ltd to complete this study. It is anticipated that this will be delivered in May 2019.

Frequently asked questions

Council's allocated budget for this project is $230,000. Council has identified through various community engagement activities the desire for the disused rail corridor to be utilised for the community. This report will allow Council to seek funding from various government levels to make this happen. The State Government has already shown support for local councils to implement community use along the rail corridor, as seen in the neighbouring Tweed Shire.

The tender was awarded in September 2018. It is anticipated the report will be completed in May 2019.

The report will aim to integrate 'multi-use' within the corridor. It will not prioritise one option over another and will look at the benefits of all options existing within the same corridor.