Plans to extend Yeppoon rail trail another 26km
A CITY-to-coast riding trail has made some big steps towards becoming a reality thanks to State Government funding and an ambitious new plan by the Livingstone Shire Council.
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga announced yesterday that the State Government would be funding $455,000 to link the heritage-listed Yeppoon railway station building to the waterfront.
The 429m shared path will connect the rail trail to the Yeppoon Foreshore, and there will be an additional $475,000 investment from the state for maintenance works to the railway building.
"This is a great outcome for Yeppoon and will support business in our city centre and foreshore precinct," Mrs Lauga said. "Linking Braithwaite St to our coast will guide people through our heritage precinct to the foreshore, shining a spotlight on our past and present.
"These projects will also help to encourage new investment as part of an overall redevelopment strategy centred around the Station Quarter."
Queensland Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said both projects would benefit the local economy through jobs and increased tourism.
"These works will generate more cycle and pedestrian traffic along James St, with construction to support four local jobs," Mr Dick said.
"The rail trail extension and maintenance to the station building will also help attract a private partner to transform the building for its next productive use."
Livingstone Shire Council Mayor Bill Ludwig agreed the project would boost the local economy, but his eyes were set taking the trail further.
"Our council's Active Livingstone Strategy documented a strong desire among locals to connect the Pineapple Coast Rail Trail with the Yeppoon Foreshore," Cr Ludwig said.
"The state's investment brings us a step closer to realising that vision, and will also support the case for extending the rail trail between Yeppoon and Rockhampton."
Cr Ludwig detailed the LSC's plan to ultimately link Yeppoon and Rockhampton with the rail trail. He said stages two, three and four, which would take the Pineapple Rail Trail from Yeppoon to Mt Chalmers, were moving closer towards becoming a reality, with a planning and design project including a feasibility study soon to be completed.
"Council is now positioned to soon finalise the planning project which will guide the next three stages of the Rail Trail," Cr Ludwig said.
"When complete, stages two, three and four will extend the rail trail to Mt Chalmers, and take the overall length to 26 kilometres.
"The planning and design project has been guided by consultation with key stakeholders, adjoining landowners, and the wider community."
Cr Ludwig said the planning and feasibility process had been guided by consultation with stakeholders, landowners, and the wider community.
The trail to Mr Chalmers has been mapped out but the Mayor wanted to go further still.
"Although these new stages will currently take the rail trail through to Mt Chalmers, council is focused on continuing it through to the boundary to Rockhampton at Nerimbera," he said.
"Final construction costs will be confirmed with the completion of the planning and design project, and will be a significant step forward to making this project a reality.
"Council would like to acknowledge the keen interest and active input we've had from our local Member for Keppel Member Brittany Lauga as well as the Queensland Government for their funding support towards the feasibility study that will provide more opportunities for residents to engage in active recreation across our region."
The State Government provided an initial $225,000 to LSC for planning into the extension of the trail between Yeppoon and Mount Chalmers.