January 24, 2022
Heavy rain in late November and the deluge on January 8-9 have left the South Burnett Regional Council with an estimated $91,000 bill to repair the South Burnett Rail Trail.
In a report due to be debated on Tuesday, Councillors will be told summer storms caused extensive damage to almost 5km of the trail.
This has forced the closure of the section between Wondai and the Gympie Regional Council border to preserve public safety.
Two other sections – between Burns and Transmitter roads at Tingoora, and Crawford to Memerambi-Gordonbrook Road – were also closed briefly over the Christmas period.
Councillors will be told at least part of the damage was due to DTMR roadworks carried out near Tingoora last June.
The rail trail repairs may be ineligible for Federal disaster funding because recreation trails are not considered essential community infrastructure, but this option was still being investigated.
Council officers have estimated temporary repairs to reopen all sections of the trail could be done for $31,000, but complete repairs would require three times this amount.
Councillors are expected to approve temporary repairs from the current year’s Budget but complete restoration may need to wait until the 2022-23 Budget was brought down in July.
The trail – which opened in October 2017 – has a current estimated value of $1.63 million, and Council sets aside $74,000 each year for depreciation.