RIVER WALK ARRIVES: The project that has been 15 years in the making is ready to start, as of today. Picture: Sam Turner.
RIVER WALK ARRIVES: The project that has been 15 years in the making is ready to start, as of today. Picture: Sam Turner.

Work begins on $300,000 river path project

A PROJECT that has been "burbling" under the surface in Gayndah is finally about to materialise.

Work is set to begin today, January 13, to build the long-awaited pathway along the Burnett River.

The project has been funded by a joint contribution from the council and the Department of Transport and Main Roads, for an estimated $300,000.

The 3m wide cement path will head from the Les Baker Bridge on the Burnett River, 500m up to Simon St near the Gayndah Historical Society, and should take between three weeks to a month to finish.

Division 4 councillor John Zahl said there had been some considerable hurdles in creating the scenic walk for the town over the years.

"The issue was that, with Gayndah being the oldest town in Queensland, the surveying of the town was done 100-plus years ago," Cr Zahl said.

"With flooding and the loss of the riverbank, the owners on Capper St actually own halfway down the river bank."

The council has had to liaise with landowners to calculate the exact mapping because of this, and has had to contour and mow the land being used.

A substantial part of the fund is attributed to Transport and Main Roads, as it has control of the land being used.

"This project is under their cycle ways program, where they're looking to run out walking footpaths, and cycle footpaths for fitness," he said.

"This funding is from the State Government, who need to be thanked for their contribution to the project."

Cr Zahl says the footpath is going to be something special, a spot for people to sit, have access to the water and look at the wildlife.

"It might sound like a lot of money for a footpath, but it includes contouring the banks, building a staircase, and irrigation systems for the area."

It is not a stand-alone development, but part of a bigger scheme by the council and main roads department.

"The next step that we would like to do is put in an amphitheatre at the end of Maltby Pl by the Golden Orange Motel.

"We'd be able to put a band down on the bottom with wheelchair access, have it as an all terrace area, where 300 people could sit in the afternoon. The breeze would be coming up from the river, and you'd have all the water behind you.

"That's in the plans."

Proposals are being made to add to the river walk in the near future, with design recommendations from Transport and Main Roads aiming to take the path through to the Gayndah Public Pool, and up to the entrance of the Riverview Caravan Park.

"Overall it should be about 1.3km in length, and we're doing it in stages," he said.

"That project won't include irrigation, and we foresee this as something really special for the town."

The optimal goal for the council is to retain visitors for longer amounts of time stated Cr Zahl, with additional works being conducted at the Gayndah Sports Fields and Lions Park to attract caravanners.

"We'll have shrubs, garden beds, and have the park as a fill up point, and we'll put signage up to direct them into town to have a cup of coffee, and enjoy the view.

"We just want them to stay in the town longer than an hour, which is probably more than what their staying for at the moment."

Having these projects in both directions into town, Cr Zahl is aiming for travellers to pull up, even if it's just for a coffee.

"If they buy two cups of coffee, that's 10 bucks they've spent in the town, that we otherwise wouldn't have had."

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