July 15, 2014
The South Burnett isn’t the only area hoping to get funding from the State Government to develop a rail trail – residents further down the Brisbane Valley are campaigning for “missing links” in the trail to be developed as well.
Paul Heymans, from Wivenhoe Pocket, is agitating for the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail to be finished and for Somerset Region Council to apply for funding to do just that.
He has launched a petition on Change.org, which has attracted 922 signatures so far, a Facebook page, and has been been cycling open sections of the rail trail to help promote the trail as a whole in a bid to build pressure on Somerset Council.
He plans to ride the section between Yarraman and Linville on Saturday, August 16.
Paul is calling for supporters of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail to gather in Yarraman at 10:00am on August 16 to display their support for the rail trail and walk, ride or cycle the section alongside him.
Somerset Council has estimated that the cost of maintaining the rail trail through its region could be as much as $500,000 a year, a figure which is disputed by supporters of the project.
Mr Heymans said this figure was based on using the “gold-plated Fernvale to Lowood section” as a benchmark which may not be necessary.
He said the rail trail would benefit the local economy if it was completed end-to-end.
Earlier this year, the State Government announced that $3.5 million would be made available towards the State’s regional trails, spread across four years.
Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said that as soon as full details of the grant become available it would be an agenda item at a future Council meeting.
UPDATE August 14: Due to the weather the ride has been postponed to August 30.