Cr Ros Heit, Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney, Mayor Wayne Kratzmann and Cr Kathy Duff at last month’s $2 million Kingaroy-Kilkivan Rail Trail announcement in Murgon

August 19, 2014

A report that Somerset Regional Council fears they will face a six-figure annual maintenance bill for a rail trail in their region has surprised South Burnett Mayor Wayne Kratzmann.

Mayor Kratzmann said today he expects the annual maintenance bill for the South Burnett’s rail trails is likely to be around $30,000.

This covers the Council’s portions of the Blackbutt-Linville Rail Trail and a planned new rail trail between Kingaroy and Kilkivan.

Somerset Regional Council is being pressed by community groups to complete a “missing” 27km stretch of the rail corridor between Moore and Toogoolawah but Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann is unenthusiastic about the idea.

His region already has a 71.6km rail trail stretching along the Brisbane Valley from Wanora (near Fernvale) to Toogoolawah.

Mayor Lehmann told media this week he was concerned that future maintenance could become a burden on ratepayers, and would like more details about the State Government’s expectations of councils and future maintenance funding arrangements.

Mayor Kratzmann told today his Council’s approach to rail trail maintenance would be to set aside a portion of the $2 million that it will share with Gympie Regional Council for the Kingaroy-Kilkivan rail trail to fund future maintenance.

The Council may also look at alternative funding models, such as public donations towards the trail’s upkeep – an approach that has worked successfully elsewhere in Australia.

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington has said previously that she has spoken to Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney regarding funding for the Somerset section.

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