February 24, 2020
South Burnett Regional Council will seek a $150,000 grant from the Federal Government to complete the South Burnett Rail Trail.
If its application is successful, the Council will also contribute a further $150,000 from its own funds to the project.
The $300,000 would be used to build a 750m concrete path between the former Kingaroy Railway Station at O’Neill Square and the Bunya Highway, which would be illuminated at night with solar lighting.
This section of the trail has remained largely untouched since it opened in October 2017.
The Council left it undeveloped because it had plans at that time to build a large car park behind the Haly Street shops – an upgrade that has since been postponed so work could proceed on the Kingaroy Transformation Project.
The decision to apply for Federal funding was made at Council’s February meeting on Wednesday.
Councillors said that apart from improving the visual amenity of the trail and building an impressive trailhead in the heart of Kingaroy’s CBD, public safety issues were also a factor in the decision.
At present, some rail trail users were parking their cars near the Youngman Street entrance to the trail.
This was an unsuitable location that exposed drivers to risk as they entered or left the Bunya Highway.
Developing the O’Neill Square trailhead would encourage those people to use the King Street parking area instead.
Deputy Mayor Gavin Jones said the motion – moved by Cr Danita Potter and seconded by Cr Kirstie Schumacher – had caught him by surprise.
However, he supported it providing the $150,000 Council contribution could be found in its 2021-22 Budget.
The motion to apply for project funding was carried unanimously.