Inland rail trail gets $330k boost
THE Queensland Government has announced $330,000 to go towards funding the concept design for the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail as part of a $10 million coup for rail trails across the state.
Minister for Regional Development and Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the money would go towards funding the concept design for three new individual trails including the Awoonga Lake Rail Trail (36.28km), the Kalpowar Tunnels Rail Trail (31.2km) and The Burnett River Bridges Rail Trail (28.8km).
"For every dollar we invest in bike-riding, that means $5 returned in economic benefit to our region - dollars crucial as we turn the tide on COVID-19," Mr Butcher said.
"When we talk rail trails, we're talking jobs in construction, jobs in tourism and new opportunities for local businesses."
The Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail is a joint partnership between Gladstone Regional Council and North Burnett Regional Council.
The concept will mean designing a total of 96km worth of trail, which holds "colossal potential" for drawing many locals and tourists to this historic corridor.
Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett said the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail was one of several strategic projects Gladstone Regional Council was looking to raise awareness of.
"The development of a regionally significant attraction has the potential to provide new business opportunities, boost the regional economy and tourism and improve connectivity between towns situated along the rail corridor," Cr Burnett said.
North Burnett Mayor Rachel Chambers said the project had potential to increase liveability, and open up new business opportunities across the region.
Gladstone Region councillor and Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail patron Desley O'Grady said
a completed Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail could accommodate cycling, walking or horseriding recreational activities.
"The Gladstone Region Visitor Economy Strategy 2025 highlights emerging travel trends, and these include one-of-a-kind experiences and wellness travel, which is exactly what a complete Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail could offer tourists," Cr O'Grady said.
"It will also help reinforce the historic connection between towns situated along the corridor, as they have a rich history dating back more than a century ago."