Hi, My name is Siri Gamage and I am fundraising to obtain legal opinion about the legitimacy of NSW government's policy of supporting councils to convert regional rail corridors (non-operational) to rail trails (bike and walking paths). If there are grounds for a court case, we need to engage a solicitor and a barrister for the case. In Northern Rivers the line was closed in 2020 by an act of Parliament to allow for councils to build rail trails. In New England two councils are actively sponsoring New England Rail Trail (NERT). This requires the removal of existing rail infrastructure . Under the Rail Trail Bill 2022, NSW government's transport asset holding authority or Transport for NSW can lease a non-operational rail corridor to a council for up to 30 years to build a rail trail. I believe this is detrimental to the people's right to have a proper and functioning public transport service by rail. It will also put our region backward in terms of inter-regional connectivity. Transport is the key to attract more population, business and industry to regional NSW. There are various proposals to use the non-operational rail lines by community groups to run heritage trains. A Businessman who wants to relocate to New England wishes to use the rail line to transport his produce from Llangothlin to Tamworth. If the government allows councils to build rail trails, such proposals cannot go ahead. Heritage/tourist trains have the potential to attract many more visitors to the region compared to a few hundred able-bodied persons to enjoy a bike track. It is important that we help our disabled, elderly, sick, isolated and unemployed regional residents to travel to various destinations in comfort by using rail. They face numerous difficulties when they have to attend to medical and other matters especially over the border in Queensland. They deserve a decent public transport service as their city cousins in Sydney. As a civilised society, such residents who deserve our care and attention should not be neglected anymore. This is an urgent appeal for donations. Part of the funds will be spent on education, promotion, and research e.g. feasibility study, business case. Donated funds will be managed by establishing a special account under TrainsNorth Inc.