It’s full steam ahead for the Bundaberg to Gin Gin Rail Trail after the State Government today announced $9.5 million in funding.
The first two stages are estimated to cost $19 million from Bundaberg to Sharon and Sharon to Koolboo Road trailhead.
The 295-metre Splitters Creek Bridge is expected to be a major attraction for trail users and visitors who simply want to see a historic timber trestle bridge.
The bridge was completed in 1880 as part of the Mount Perry railway.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey joined Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey and local cyclists today to announce funding at the North Bundaberg Railway Museum.
Mr Bailey said the government's commitment would help complete the first two stages of a 2.5m wide, 46km long trail.
“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 Bailey said.
“When we talk rail trails, we’re talking jobs in construction, jobs in tourism and new opportunities for local businesses.
“Post-construction, we are also talking more recreation options, and opportunities for locals to get out and about and enjoy their community.”
The project includes refurbishing Splitters Creek Bridge and the reinstatement of new pre-fabricated bridges where existing bridges/culverts were constructed in the flood openings.
“Global economies have done it tough due to COVID-19, and Queensland hasn’t been immune,” Mr Bailey said.
“Thanks to the efforts of Queenslanders in keeping our health response strong however, we’ve been able to continue delivering Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.
“And for roads and transport that means getting on with a record $23 billion pipeline of projects just like this, which will support 21,500 jobs.”
Mayor Dempsey thanked the Government for investing in rail trails and supporting the Bundaberg to Gin Gin rail trail project.
“The rail trail will contribute to improved health, tourism growth and community connections,” he said.
“North Bundaberg and Gin Gin in particular will see increased business activity and have new recreational opportunities.
“A feasibility study last year estimated potential economic benefits of nearly $3 million per year.”
Funding has been provided through the State Government's Rail Trail Local Government Grants program.
The objective is to support the planning and delivery of recreational bike riding, walking and horse trails on disused state and local government owned rail corridors.
- Earlier report: Gin Gin rail trail offers $3m annual potential