It's time an enthusiastic local group revisited a plan to turn the closed railway line corridor between Molong and Yeoval into a rail trail opening it up for walkers and bike riders.
In the past Gladys Berejiklian, when she was transport minister, gave the plan the cold shoulder while Cabonne Shire Council had a look but caved in to complaints from adjoining landholders who didn't want people wandering past their properties.
Rail trails breathe life into country communities but we're being left behind.
A group in the Greenethorpe district want support for a rail trail between Greenethorpe and Grenfell on a disused branch from Koorawatha on the Blayney to Demondrille line that Cowra and Young councils hope could eventually be reopened.
But there's little chance the Greenethorpe branch would ever open again.
Cootamundra-Gundagai Council has re-allocated a budget of $100,000 for landholder consultations along the proposed Cootamundra to Tumblong rail trail.
It would become part of an eastern Riverina network including the 22km Tumbarumba to Rosewood rail trail that was opened last April after receiving a whopping $4.9 million from the NSW Government's Restart NSW fund and $800,000 from community grants.
Other Riverina trails planned are Batlow to Tumut and Wagga to Ladysmith.
Just think if the Molong rail trail was built.
We could strap on the backpack, fill the water bottle and head off to Cumnock and Yeoval for a coffee or cold beer and sandwich.
We could make friends along the way before walking back knowing we'd done our part in helping turn the closed railway line into a sustainable tourist attraction.
And there's lots of scenery to look at. Old railway bridges built in the 1920s, rusty cars dumped in paddocks and cows and sheep.
What better way to spend a weekend?
CARS A THING OF THE PAST?
It won't be long before cars will become some sort of novelty because they're well and truly on the way out.
If you reckon every second vehicle in your rear vision mirror is one of those tail-gating fuel guzzling SUVs or tradies utes you're right on the money because there's way more of these bull-barred things in Orange than cars.
Of all the 46,830 vehicles registered locally, 9,841 are SUV/four-wheel-drives and 7,722 tradies' utes totalling 17,563 and that's a whopping 2,446 more than the 15,117 cars registered here.
And Orange motor dealers are adding to these figures with good sales despite covid.
In the first nine months to September last year the dealers sold 1,992 new vehicles and of these 498 were SUV/four-wheel drives and 437 light tradies' utes, totalling 935, and that's 283 more than the 652 new cars they sold. Similar trends are being found in Bathurst and Dubbo, too.
So cars are well and truly being outnumbered everywhere.
CITY BACK UP AND RUNNING
This week marked an important event in Orange. After an extended Christmas-New Year shutdown by many business, they've re-opened.
People had found it almost impossible to get a coffee, see a solicitor or accountant, get a dripping tap fixed or have the car serviced.
But life hasn't completely returned to normal just yet so is this annual shutdown really necessary?
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