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The next step towards the North-East Rail Trail, and adjoining heritage train, is expected before the end of the parliamentary year.
After half a decade of fighting over the disused rail corridor, a Legislative Council Inquiry has recommended a heritage train running from Launceston to Lilydale, and a cycle path running from Lilydale to Scottsdale.
But before work can begin, management of the rail corridor must be transferred from TasRail to the Dorset Council and the Launceston and North East Rail group respectively, which requires approval in both houses of state parliament.
Minister for Infrastructure Michael Ferguson said, "Noting that there is detailed work needed, we are aiming for this to occur before the end of the 2019 Parliamentary year."
Meanwhile, the Dorset Council met with federal Minister for Infrastructure Michael McCormack last week while the minister was in Tasmania, to discuss federal funding opportunities for the cycle path tourism project.
A grant of $1.47 million for the cycle path expires in March, and the Dorset Council has not been able to spend it on the rail trail due to years of hold-ups.
But the council hopes funding can be found elsewhere in the federal budget, and Mr McCormack spoke positively about the chances of this happening.
"We'll work through a suitable proposal," he said.
"I've had a good chat to the mayor [Greg Howard].
"We'll see what we can do as far as making sure - I appreciate they need an extension of time - I'll go and see what I can do about that project and that funding."
This article first appeared on www.examiner.com.au
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