A prerequisite to the construction of the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail was that, after a period of operation, an assessment of its impact on the area would be undertaken.
This study has now been completed and the following is an extract from the NSW government's assessment:
"Early indicators of positive economic outcomes following the opening of the Rail Trail include:
- Spend in the Tumbarumba region was up by 20 per cent when comparing the two six-month periods of June to December 2019 and June to December 2020
- Discretionary spend (on leisure-based activities) in Tumbarumba was up 55 per cent for the same six-month period of June to December 2020, compared with the same period the year before, most likely from visitors staying in town
- Spend on consumer staples was up 14 per cent for the same period, most likely from visitors staying in town
- Nine new or expanding businesses since the opening of the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Rail Trail in April 2020 (accommodation, food and beverage and bicycle hire)
- Spend in Tumbarumba (up 20 per cent) outperformed the broader Snowy Valleys region and NSW as a whole (up 12 per cent) when comparing the two six-month periods of June to December 2019 and June to December 2020."
Under the heading "Community cohesion" the report states: "Community cohesion around the project continues to be strong, despite early resistance from adjoining landholders. Locals and businesses talked about the asset proudly, with a sense of ownership."
These are fantastic and independently certified results.
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Thank you to Monty Jacka for providing some activists' perspectives on governmental punishments for protesting activity ("'Over the top': Wagga activists condemn NSW crackdown on protests, strikes", Daily Advertiser, July 1).
Although blockading that inconveniences others may not be an ideal pathway forward, these climate activists are understandably increasingly frustrated.
It is scientific fact that we live amid a worsening climate emergency that, if not adequately and urgently addressed, will become an existential threat to humanity.
History suggests that social movements induce change. Seventy-five per cent of us Australians are concerned about climate change.
Instead of setting new laws that arguably push protesters further toward extreme measures, governments would do well to listen to the valid concerns of their citizens and, increasingly, make decisions that protect and regenerate the very environment and climate that we need to survive and thrive.
After a visit to the Wagga City Council tip shop on Saturday I could not believe we have to have a security guard sitting on a chair, checking what I don't know.
Surely there must be better ways for Wagga City Council to spend ratepayers' money?
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