People who would like to cycle the South Burnett Rail Trail but don’t own a bicycle will soon be able to hire one from the Kingaroy or Wondai Visitor Information Centres.
South Burnett Regional Council plans to hold a two-month trial of free bicycle hire soon.
At Wednesday’s monthly meeting, Councillors heard the SBRC inherited 15 mountain bikes after running a free 10-week women’s cycling course last year.
The course was funded by a grant from the State Government’s “Get Out, Get Active” program aimed at encouraging Queenslanders to develop regular fitness habits.
The Council had to buy the bicycles as part of the course.
Now – to comply with the grant’s conditions – it had to find an alternate use for them.
After investigating possible options, officers recommended trialling free bicycle hire at the two Visitor Information Centres to test if there was a market for this service among Rail Trail users.
Five bicycles will also be trialled at Lake Boondooma to test if there is any appetite for cycling at the region’s tourist parks.
The meeting was told the Wondai Regional Art Gallery and Wooroolin Post Office had both expressed interest in the program.
However, they had been ruled out of the initial trial because bike hirers would not be covered by Council’s public liability insurance.
Council will buy two five-bicycle parking racks for the Visitor Information Centres over coming weeks.
The meeting heard hirers will be asked to produce a driver’s licence for identification, and a photocopy of this will be turned over to police if the bicycle isn’t returned.
Apart from testing the market’s appetite for the service, the trial will also examine what maintenance issues will be involved.
Councillors noted all bicycles need some degree of maintenance during normal use, and it was likely hire bikes would require more than usual.
The motion to proceed with the trial was moved by Cr Roz Frohloff, seconded by Cr Ros Heit and passed unanimously.