Push for new rail trail gains momentum
THE South Burnett Rail trail has become a hit with locals and tourists alike, with the possibility of extending Queensland's longest sealed rail trail looking likely.
The region is reaping the benefits from the South Burnett Rail Trail with figures showing it had created huge economic growth for the entire community, according to rail trail committe chairman, Dafyd Martindale.
"Recent figures show the Rail Trail is generating over a million dollars for the region each year,” he said.
The South Burnett Rail Trail Association held its first public meeting in Wondai last night to much enthusiasm.
A total of 24 community members from around the region met to discuss future possibilities for the Rail Trail, with representatives from eight of the South Burnett towns along the trail.
"I was really impressed to see community members from every stop along the Rail Trail turn up for our first meeting,” association secretary, Jason Wyeth said.
"When the rail trail was first proposed it received a fair bit of negativity from the community. People were concerned mostly about the cost and whether it would actually benefit anyone and we had to be prepared for that, not everyone is ready for change.
"But 12 months on the attitude has certainly changed and we have received overwhelming support and positive reactions from the community. Everyone who walks or rides the trail loves it.
Mr Martindale said the nature of the trail set it apart.
"We have the only sealed rail trail in Queensland, which has proved to be a real point of difference to all the other trails and people are really enjoying using it,” Mr Martindale said.
"As a committee we are excited and hopeful for what the future may well bring to the region.
"We will be working closely with the South Burnett Regional Council to ensure the South Burnett continues to benefit from such a wonderful community resource, and hopefully we can make plans for extensions to the trail in the future.