CONCERN: Danny Goodwin, Val and Col Elliott, Mark Hansen, Tony Oberle and Ian Newson who stand near the site of the old Mondure Railway station say a potential Proston rail trail would be a biosecurity risk.
CONCERN: Danny Goodwin, Val and Col Elliott, Mark Hansen, Tony Oberle and Ian Newson who stand near the site of the old Mondure Railway station say a potential Proston rail trail would be a biosecurity risk. Jessica McGrath

'None of us believe this will save Proston'

A RAIL trail proposal riddled with health and safety concerns will not save Proston.

This is according to Mondure landowner Tony Oberle, whose property would host some of the proposed rail trail from Murgon to Proston.

The landowners are all passionate about keeping Proston alive but said a rail trail would not bring the number of tourists needed.

"None of us believe this will save Proston, we don't believe it will be any economical benefit beyond a couple of cups of coffee," he said.

"You're better off focusing on something that will give you real economic benefits."

Mr Oberle said there had been a lack of consultation regarding the potential trail with landowners.

"Nobody has actually tried speaking to the farmers before they went ahead," he said.

South Burnett Regional Council agreed to apply for funding with the Rail Trail Local Government Grants program for a feasibility study for a potential Proston rail trail during their meeting on January 16.

The property owners from Mondure, Hivesville and Proston have concerns about biosecurity issues, privacy issues, security issues and maintenance costs to the South Burnett ratepayers.

If the proposed Proston rail trail follows the original railway line, which was closed during the 1990s, it will either run straight through their properties or along their boundary.

 

DISRUPTION: If the proposed Proston rail trail follows the original railway line it will go straight through people's properties.
DISRUPTION: If the proposed Proston rail trail follows the original railway line it will go straight through people's properties. Jessica McGrath

Mondure resident Peter Enkelmann said a feasibility study would reveal several biosecurity issues.

Many farmers in the area use aircraft to spray F7-rated herbicides on their crops.

"The decision for the job might be made five minutes before the job starts depending on the weather, or it might be cancelled," he said.

For health and safety reasons they have to notify neighbours when the job is happening, however would have no way of notifying or stopping tourists who would plan on coming through on the trail.

"Whether it's through our property or around on the roads, there's issues whichever way they want to do it," Mr Enkelmann said.

It is proposed the potential rail trail would be horse-friendly, encouraging riders to use the trail.

Mr Enkelmann said horses could be easily spooked by the low-flying planes spraying the crops.

"If there's someone there with a horse that's not used to that, then it would worry me about causing an accident," he said.

 

DISRUPTION: If the proposed Proston rail trail follows the original railway line it will go straight through people's properties.
DISRUPTION: If the proposed Proston rail trail follows the original railway line it will go straight through people's properties. Jessica McGrath

The original rail line goes through Hivesville stockhorse breeder Jolie Wieland's land.

She is concerned about the safety of her horses with tourists riding along the trail.

"Who's going to pay for the vet bills when one of them bites mine?" she said.

She said she would have to spend extra money on double fencing to keep a barrier between her horses and rail trail users.

Mrs Wieland is worried about tourists coming along and feeding her horses dead grass, which could lead to colic.

"That's a 10 grand bill for me," she said.

"I will potentially lose a lot, that's up to me to fix my fence but that's not going to stop them."

 

DISRUPTION: If the proposed Proston rail trail follows the original railway line it will go straight through people's properties.
DISRUPTION: If the proposed Proston rail trail follows the original railway line it will go straight through people's properties. Jessica McGrath

Tourists bringing horses and dogs along a rail trail through the area would also raise tick-line issues.

The properties along the old railway line are in 'dirty country' since the tick line was moved closer to Kingaroy.

"They'll stop there, think they are clean, gone through all of that land and half of them are dirty," Mrs Wieland said.

"They'll put the horses back on (the float) thinking they haven't caught anything, and they'll take it back to wherever they've come from."

She was also concerned about privacy and security issues with tourists coming close to or on the properties.

Danny Goodwin, whose property is where the Mondure Railway Station once stood, said there were also various contaminated land sites associated with the railway line.

"The government poisoned the rail tracks here at the station," he said.

Mr Goodwin said any tourists with pet dogs would also cause disruption to the property's dogs and cattle.

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