Funding on track
FITNESS freaks could be riding into the South Burnett before December.
Mayor Wayne Kratzmann, councillors, Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney and residents, including judo instructor Stan Munday in Kathy Duff’s pink hat, were the first to ride on the rail trail after $2 million in funding was announced.
It was the first ride of many as rail trails across the state target health conscious tourists, giving them a 60km-long reason to visit the South Burnett.
Allison Stone has owned Kai Lounge on Moore’s main street for five years and said businesses in the South Burnett towns along the new route from Kingaroy to Kilkivan should be excited.
According to Ms Stone the volume of people using the rail trail had increased significantly in the past two years.
She said while the visitors were only moderate spenders, the impact was far reaching.
“It’s a boost for tourism in general because people get to see what the region has to offer,” Ms Stone said.
Securing funding for the rail trail has been a long-term project for Cr Kratzmann who has travelled as far north as Cairns to negotiate.
Now he is confident of the funding, Cr Kratzmann said the only step left was to iron out the details and consult with the community on how to maximise the benefit to each town.
“We will probably call a meeting… to let people express their views,” he said. “I know some people have indicated they already have ideas and we need to develop some of those; look at what other successful rail trail have done.” It has not yet been established who will carry out the work but Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said he hoped at least one section would be finished before Christmas.