Rail Trail Pass application form

Contact details

Business details

Privacy and protection of personal information

  • We are collecting this information to help process your Rail Trail Pass Program for commercial operators application.
  • The information will be available to Tweed Shire Council staff, and any approved contractors or agencies required to administer the program.
  • Information provided is voluntary. Without this information, we will not be able to consider your business or experience for the program.
  • Tweed Shire Council is collecting this information and will store it securely. Stored information is located at Civic Centre, Murwillumbah NSW 2484 and Amazon's AWS cloud services in Sydney, Australia.
  • Call us on 02 6673 0404 or email connect@northernriversrailtrail.com.au to access or correct your personal information.

Pass duration

Conditions of permit

By applying for this permit you agree to the terms and conditions as set out in the application requirements on this website for the Rail Trail Pass.

All Rail Trail operators and users must abide by the Northern Rivers Rail Trail Safety and Rules.

It is the responsibility of the Rail Trail Pass permit holder to obtain written acknowledgement from all on-trail commercial tour participants that they are using the Rail Trail at their own risk and that they will abide by the Northern Rivers Rail Trail Safety and Rules. On-trail commercial tour participants do not have right-of-way over other Rail Trail users.

The Rail Trail Pass permit will cover use of the Rail Trail only. If you plan to use a park reserve or other facility that does not form part of the Rail Trail, then you will need to seek approval from the Council by contacting them directly.

When designing and developing brochures and other marketing materials, The Rail Trail Pass permit holder agrees to use official assets provided via Brandkit (maps, images, logos) prepared by Tweed Shire Council. If the permit holder is using their own imagery, all pictures must adhere to the safety requirements of the Rail Trail. E.g. biker riders must be photographed wearing a helmet.

When commercially hiring bikes, all bikes must have a light and a bell to meet the safety requirements of the Rail Trail. All equipment for hire must be well maintained. 

Businesses must not incorporate the name 'Northern Rivers Rail Trail' or any variation of it directly into their business names.

Business plan information

This template outlines the information that you need to provide for your business plan. Each section includes guidance notes on what to include and, in some cases, a word limit. Please complete this application form with the information relevant to your company/operation.

Overview of business

Please include the following:

What does your business do? Include what activities you would like to conduct in the on the Northern Rivers Rail Trail.

Who is your target market(s)?

What is your unique selling point(s)?

How many visitors do you expect to attract to the Rail Trail annually?

Codes of practice

Please provide an outline of how your business objectives and standards relate to the environment, your staff and customer service.

Codes of practice - environment

Provide details of how your business will fulfil the following environmental requirements. Specific environmental sustainability and minimal impact practices and expectations will vary depending upon your type of activity.

Explain to customers how negative impacts on sites can be avoided.

Build an understanding of natural and cultural heritage conservation management.

Provide good interpretation and education.

Honour historic places.

Promote respect for Aboriginal culture and sites.

Observe rules to protect conservation values and public safety.

Adopt environmental practices which support environmental sustainability.

Adopt minimal impact practices for all activities.

Codes of practice - staff

What standards you expect from your staff and an outline of your ‘corporate’ philosophy. For example, you could include details of the values you expect from your staff (such as friendly, supportive, organised and well-prepared).

Codes of practice - customer service

Customer service philosophy and goals.

Industry standards

Provide details of any industry standards, such as Outdoor Council of Australia – Australian Adventure Activity Standards and Good Practice Guides, that you have adopted or that apply to your operations.

Industry standards are voluntary guidelines describing industry-recognised standards of practice and have been developed for many activities, such as bike riding, bushwalking, adventure activities and horse riding.


Details of the ‘corporate’ structure of your organisation along with staff competencies/qualifications, training and development.

You must ensure that all your guides and employees have and maintain the relevant competencies and skills for leading and guiding your activities. Please provide details of your staff skills, qualification and experience requirements.

You may also have guidelines, such as guides/instructors’ handbooks (including lists of duties and terms of employment), that you have prepared for your staff in relation to your activities. Please also provide details of ongoing training and performance monitoring.

Please complete the text box below, or upload your files.

Risk Management / Emergency response plan

You must maintain an Emergency Response Plan for each activity which outlines procedures to be followed in the event of natural or other disaster, injury, illness or delay. Foreseeable risks should be identified, and strategies should be developed to avoid or minimise these risks. Your plan must include information to assist your staff to minimise the escalation of the situation, the injuries incurred and the likelihood of further incidents occurring.

Your industry body may well provide established risk management guidelines that you may adapt to your specific business. However, your plan must be specific to your planned activities.

Your staff must be familiar with your Emergency Response Plan and able to access a copy when carrying out the activity. Provide as much detail as possible to properly assess and manage risk in your business operations.

Your Emergency Response Plan should include details on the following areas:

identifying hazards and assessing risks

management of risks

incident/emergency response procedures and a copy of your activity incident report

client - staff ratios

activity equipment standards

first aid qualifications and equipment

equipment maintenance and replacement procedures

weather contingencies

documentation and record keeping.

An effective risk management plan should involve the following series of steps (Australian Standard AS/NZS 4360 Risk Management):

Step 1 Identify all hazards.

Step 2 Assess and prioritise the risks these hazards create, deal with highest priority risk first.

Step 3 – Decide on measures to control the risks (e.g. eliminate the risk, substitute a venue and use personal protective equipment).

Step 4 Implement appropriate control measures.

Step 5 – Monitor the control measures and review the process.

Responsible marketing

Continuous improvement

A final key element of any business plan is a policy on how to continuously improve your business.  

Think about quality standards and accreditation, monitoring procedures, client profiles, client satisfaction reports, environmental performance guidelines and goals and risk management procedures

Public liability

All Rail Trail Pass permit holders utilising the Northern Rivers Rail Trail are required to have Public Liability Insurance. Public Liability Insurance must:

  • have a minimum cover of $20 million
  • cover the dates of the on-trail commercial tour or cover the duration of the Rail Trail Pass permit
  • be held with an insurance company licensed to operate in Australia
  • list Tweed Shire Council as an ‘interested party’


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