Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Funding
The Queensland Government has removed funding from the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, a project to convert the abandoned railway from Wulkuraka, west of Ipswich to Yarraman, some 115 km to the northwest.
The trail brings thousands of tourists to the area every year, and was due for completion in 2012. While a number of sections of the trail area already completed, all maintenance and consideration for further facilities have been stopped.
Scrapping the Rail Trail
In 2007 the Queensland Government provided $8.8 million over 5 years to build three new rail trails, but Rail Trails Australia report that the South East Queensland Regional Plan and Active Trails program have been "cancelled", resulting in no further state government funding for projects such as this.
Local volunteers have stepped in to help maintain the trail and lobby the government for funding, but Sean Choat, the member for Ipswich West isn't convinced.
“We've got a lot of things that are nice to have at the moment, but with the debt situation we can't afford them all. Unfortunately the rail trail is something we can't afford at the moment."
The future of the Brisbane Valley Trail
Local and state representatives have expressed interest at keeping the attraction open, but thus far nobody is prepared to actively fund the project. The Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning have committed to supporting a trail ranger to coordinate and carry out maintenance and for now the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail remains open, but the future of the trail has not yet been decided.
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