Moving to save Burnett tracks

Cr Desley O'Grady wrote on behalf of the Boyne-Burnett Inland Rail Trail to preserve a section of rail along the National Heritage Trail.
Cr Desley O'Grady wrote on behalf of the Boyne-Burnett Inland Rail Trail to preserve a section of rail along the National Heritage Trail.

THREE months away from the scheduled tearing up of the old Burnett-Boyne rail line, stakeholders are going all in to save as much as they can.

Queensland Rail, which owns the rail infrastructure, has leased the contract out to have it removed.

A group of 13 different community organisations from the North Burnett, Boyne Valley and Gladstone areas, including the Burnett Rail Heritage Group, the Gayndah Rail Trail, the Gehgre Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Corporation and more, have combined forces to try and save a section of the line.

The proposed line goes from Kalpower to Many Peaks and travels 29km, along with a 1km section outside Mungungo Pub.

The combined group, the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail, submitted a letter to State Government assistant treasurer Glenn Butcher, written up by group chairwoman and Gladstone councillor Desley O'Grady.

"The letter explains how we formed a group out of 12 different community organisations to try and preserve as much of the old rail trail as we can,” Cr O'Grady said.

"I've also sent letters to (Transport Main Roads Director-General) Neil Scales and (Minister for Tourism and Major Events) Kate Jones regarding the issue of preserving some of the rail line.”

With the proposed rail trail, the plan is to link in with the Gayndah rail trail.

This trail consists of 30km of trail running from Reid's Creek to Philpott, and has become a tourist attraction for the area.

The Kalpowar-Many Peaks rail trail runs along the National Heritage Trail, making it a strong potential tourist attraction as well.

Some have proposed walking or cycling tours along the track as an economic strategy, others have proposed Jeep tracks.

Cr O'Grady said, given the time frame, the immediate focus should be seeking political assistance to save the tracks.

"We need to act immediately, those tracks are heritage,” she said.

She has reached out to State Member for Callide Colin Boyce and Federal Member for Flynn Kevin O'Dowd, as well as joint co-operation between North Burnett Regional and Gladstone Regional Council.

North Burnett Mayor Rachel Chambers expressed an interest in cooperating with Gladstone Council on the matter.

The next meeting will be at the Boyne Valley Community Discovery Centre on February 9 at 10am.

Topics:  boyne valley desley o'grady gladstone heritage mungungo north burnett rail trail

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