Bundaberg Regional Council will investigate funding sources to build a 46km rail trail along the disused railway corridor between Bundaberg and Gin Gin.
Mayor Jack Dempsey said a development plan estimates potential economic benefits of nearly $3 million per year.
The trail would cost about $13.1 million to build.
“Council received $92,000 from the State Government to undertake a feasibility study,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“The report says the rail trail is feasible and would contribute to improved health, tourism, business growth and community connections.
“North Bundaberg and Gin Gin in particular would see increased business activity and have new recreational opportunities.”
Mayor Dempsey said Splitters Creek Bridge and historic railway stations at the trail heads would be major attractions for users and visitors.
He said if government funding was secured there would be extensive community consultation before the trail goes ahead.
“The development plan identifies some of the issues which landholders might be concerned about, such as fencing and access” he said.
“Similar issues at other places have been successfully resolved and I’ll ensure that all legitimate concerns are properly addressed.”
Mayor Dempsey said the rail trail would attract an estimated 312,000 local users per year.
“If there were 3000 new day trippers a year that would pump $435,300 into the regional economy,” he said.
“If the trail converted 2000 day trippers into overnight visitors, this would inject an additional $418,080 a year into the regional economy.
“The multiplier effect is potentially huge.”
The development of the railway line was driven by the discovery of copper at Mount Perry in 1869. The line closed in 1993.
- Gin Gin rail trail remains under consideration