A Rail Trail pedestrian footbridge being built at the southern end of Wondai … the entire trail between Kingaroy and Murgon will be bitumen-sealed

February 4, 2016

The Kingaroy-Murgon Rail Trail will be sealed with bitumen after the South Burnett Regional Council voted on Wednesday to accept a $635,000 tender from a local business to undertake the work.

In response to a question from Cr Ros Heit about when residents could expect to begin using the trail, Natural Resources and Parks manager Greg Griffiths said the bitumening was expected to be completed by late July, weather permitting. Work on the bridges would be completed at the same time.

Mayor Wayne Kratzmann said the rail trail was “an amazing project” and that a bitumen surface would guarantee that events like a triathlon would come to the South Burnett.

He said the trail would be different to what was happening in the southern region because it was predominantly following the highway.

However, it would help to rejuvenate the small towns dotted along its route as well as giving a boost to Kingaroy, Wondai and Murgon.

He said that in three of four years, or maybe even earlier, there would be “a wonderful flood of people” coming out to spend their money in the South Burnett which would become a “recreational hub” in Queensland.

Cr Barry Green agreed, but told fellow Councillors the job was still only half done.

“What we have to do now is join Blackbutt to Kingaroy,” Cr Green said.

“Because Somerset Council will be embarking on hooking up Moore to Toogoolawah … we have to get Blackbutt connected to Kingaroy.

“There are a couple of alternative routes we could use.

“There is a natural link that goes to Yarraman, and we can go from Yarraman to Nanango up the stock route. We can then go on the Old Coach Road to connect Nanango to Blackbutt.

“That is a natural five-hour trek on a mountain bike which people are using today, actually.”

He said that when Ipswich was effectively linked to Gympie, the South Burnett would see the big benefit from the Rail Trail.

“We haven’t even scratched the surface,” he said.

He said the Rail Trail as it now is was attracting 37,000 visitors a year.

“Don’t lose sight of the fact that it is only half done. We have to get Blackbutt connected to Kingaroy and then we are laughing,” Cr Green said.

Cr Keith Campbell said anyone who was making negative comments about the Rail Trail should visit Blackbutt.

“One of the people I was speaking with said as far as the negative comments that float around from time to time, just send them down to Blackbutt to talk to the businesspeople there in terms of the impact that it has had on their business,” he said.

“They’re very, very positive.

“Cr Palmer has told us that, and I heard it with my own ears over the weekend.”

South Burnett Bobcat Services submitted the winning tender.

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