Department says there is money behind rail trail
THE Department of Transport and Main Roads has, for the first time, publicly revealed they are willing to put money behind the proposed Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail.
Speaking at the BBIRT meeting in Kalpowar Hall on Friday, April 5, rail corridor management manager Craig England quoted a figure of around $1500p/km of active trail the department could contribute for maintenance costs annually.
For disused sections of the trail, this would be $100p/km.
"Unfortunately Queensland is lagging behind other states,” Mr England said, but noted the money available under the Queensland Cycling Action Plan was bridging the gap.
Committee president Mark McLachlan praised the news.
He said the amount had almost doubled in a short period of time, as previously he had been quoted just $700p/km in funding for maintenance costs.
The final report of the feasibility study into the rail trail estimated annual maintenance costs of between $3150p/km for the Burnett River Bridges section and $3723p/km for the Kalpowar Tunnels section.
Mr McLachlan questioned these figures, pointing to the report as evidence.
"In Victoria, the Murrindindi Shire Council manages and maintains approximately 85% of the(134km) Great Victorian Rail Trail,” the report said.
"It spends around $2,000/km on maintenance activities each year.
"Volunteer-run trails can cost just under $440/km.”
This $2000p/km figure, Mr McLachlan said, is much closer to the department's contribution and the deficit could be bridged by community groups.
North Burnett Regional Council has already moved that it will play no part in establishing or maintaining their section of the trail and will act as a conduit between the State Government and community groups.