Monto rail line to cost $350K
Govt rejects lease option for project
A $350,000 price tag has been slapped on the Mulgildie to Many Peaks infrastructure of the Monto rail corridor.
It came as a surprise to a Monto rail group, which was disappointed in government departments’ lack of support in its vision to turn the line into a light-rail tourist park.
“The best interest for them commercially is not the best interest for our community,” Burnett Boyne Rail Line Preservation Group president Jack Muller said.
“We didn’t expect to have to buy the line, we thought they would give it to us or we could work out a lease.”
Transport and Main Roads senior adviser Noel Thompson said the requirement to buy the line instead of a lease it was because it would be in the best commercial interest for Queensland Rail.
He cited the economic climate as being unfavourable to a lease situation.
While $7.5 million was redirected from rail maintenance to road upgrades after the rail line was decommissioned in the South Burnett under the Labor government, the North Burnett reaped no economic stimulus after its line was decommissioned last year.
And the $350,000 price tag for the infrastructure would go solely towards Queensland Rail’s revenue, Mr Thompson said.
North Burnett Regional Council Mayor Don Waugh said when the rail was decommissioned the council pursued the State Government for similar funding to the South Burnett but they never made much headway.
“I do think it’s unfair and I would have much pleasure in continuing to pursue this matter with the State Government,” he said.
The Monto rail group said it was still keen to persevere with the light-rail project.
It has until February next year to put together a full engineer’s report, an insurance quote and a detailed business plan.
“The big focus for us right now will be doing a good job on this business plan and after that we will work out how we can get our hands on the line,” Mr Muller said.
The Burnett Boyne Rail Line Preservation Group’s monthly meeting is tonight, 7.30pm at Monto RSL.