Richmond Vale Rail Trail Review of Environmental Factors

Submissions closed on 03 July 2022, 05:00 PM


The proposed Richmond Vale Rail Trail (RVRT) is a 32km cycling and walking track along the former Richmond Vale railway between Kurri Kurri and Hexham/Shortland. This regionally significant trail traverses the three Local Government Areas of Newcastle (14.9km), Lake Macquarie (2.7km) and Cessnock with 14.4km of the trail located in the Cessnock City Council area.

To seek relevant development approvals the RVRT has been divided into two sections, Shortland to Tarro and Pambalong (Newcastle LGA), and Stockrington to Kurri Kurri (Lake Macquarie and Cessnock LGA).  The Stockrington to Kurri Kurri Section of the rail trail is the focus of the REF and the portion of the trail now being publicly exhibited.

Key Objectives

The RVRT aims to enhance active transport and create connectivity between communities with the key objectives of the project being:

  • to support future growth by connecting local and regional users at key access points including Kurri Kurri, Buchanan and Stockrington
  • provide commuters and recreational users with a safe alternative route to the local road network, including the New England Highway and the M1 Pacific Motorway
  • provide better recreational access to the Pambalong Nature Reserve and the Werakata and Stockrington State Conservation Areas
  • protect and maintain natural conservation values of adjacent lands including conservation areas
  • generate healthier, more active lifestyles and opportunities for public appreciation and enjoyment of the local natural environment

Map of route


Have your say

Residents are encouraged to view the Review of Environmental Factors and appendices and make a submission below.


Hardcopy of the document is also available for viewing at:

  • Cessnock City Council Administration Building
  • Cessnock and Kurri Kurri Libraries

How to make a submission

Submissions must be received by 5pm on Sunday 3 July 2022 and should quote “Richmond Vale Rail Trail REF”.

Submissions should be addressed to the General Manager and can be submitted in the following ways:


In person: 62-78 Vincent Street, Cessnock NSW 2325

Post: PO Box 152, Cessnock NSW 2325

Written submissions should be addressed to the General Manager and quote “Richmond Vale Rail Trail REF


Any views expressed in written submissions will be considered by Council.

Privacy Notice


Council is committed to safeguarding the privacy of individuals and handling of personal information in accordance with the Privacy and Personal Information Act 1998 (NSW) and Information Privacy Principles, the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW) and Health Privacy Principles, and any subordinate legislation.


The information on this form is being collected for the purpose of reviewing and adopting the Review of Environmental Factors for the Richmond Vale Rail Trail.

Submissions are NOT confidential. Council may release submissions when a valid request is made under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW). When such releases occur, Council will take all practicable steps to prevent your Personal Information from being disclosed in that process.

The information collected will be used for the purpose outlined and related administrative functions, and in accordance with Council's Privacy Management Plan and Privacy Statement which can be found on Council's website.

Intended Recipients

Council Officials responsible for facilitating the above purposes and where necessary project partnered councils, staff and/or delegates of other government agencies and bodies and the public as outlined above.

Supply and consequence of non-provision

The supply of personal information is voluntary however Council may not take into consideration the submissions of individuals which do not supply required information.

Storage and Security

Your personal information will be kept in Council's Information Management System in accordance with the relevant legislation. Council's address is 62-78 Vincent Street CESSNOCK NSW 2325.


You may access, correct or update your personal information by visiting Council’s website, contacting Council's Privacy Contact Officer on 4943 4100 or by sending an email to

If you want to know more about Council's obligations regarding your personal information or what rights you have, contact the Information and Privacy Commission or visit their website

Frequently Asked Questions

The RVRT is a regionally significant infrastructure project and there are numerous key features within the Lake Macquarie and Cessnock sections of the trail.  These include:

  • Construction of over 17km of shared pathway between three to four meters wide;
  • Restoration and repair of three existing railway tunnels (one tunnel is within the Cessnock LGA);
  • Construction of a 15m two-span concrete bridge at Surveyors Creek and demolition of the existing timber bridge;
  • Construction of a new 70m single span bridge at Wallis Creek and demolition of the existing timber bridge;
  • Construction of a new short bridge at Werekata Creek; and
  • Construction of four new parking facilities at various access points along the proposal route (three of the parking facilities are within the Cessnock LGA).

Yes, In April 2021 development consent was provided for 100m of the RVRT within the Cessnock LGA (near the Pambalong Nature Reserve - Lot 21 DP 1195619).  A Development Application was required for this small portion of the trail as the area is mapped under the Coastal Management State Environmental Planning Policy.

A Development Application is not required as the trail is defined as a ‘road infrastructure facility’ under clause 2.107 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Transport & Infrastructure) 2021 (Transport and Infrastructure SEPP).  Assessment in the form of a REF is required under Division 5.1 of the EP&A Act.

The total estimated budget to complete the project is estimated at $26,193,534.  

Whilst the REF covers areas of the trail within both the Cessnock and Lake Macquarie Local Government Area’s, Council will only be endorsing the portion of the trail within the Cessnock LGA. Lake Macquarie will undertake their own approval process in regards to the REF.