Fund­ing on track

South Burnett Times - - NEWS - He­len Speli­tis he­len.speli­tis@south­bur­nett­

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.

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