It’s pedal to the metal for Bundaberg bike riders and jobs, with the Palaszczuk Government today announcing funding for the Bundaberg to Gin Gin Rail Trail, transforming the region’s old rail line into a bustling bikeway.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey joined Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey and local bike riders to make the announcement and said more than $9.5 million would be locked in to match council funding and create 229 jobs and the first two stages of 2.5m-wide trail as the region bounces back from COVID-19.
“For every dollar we invest in bike-riding, that means $5 returned in economic benefit to our region – dollars crucial as we turn the tide on COVID-19,” Mr Bailey said.
“When we talk rail trails, we’re talking jobs in construction, jobs in tourism and new opportunities for local businesses.
“Post-construction, we are also talking more recreation options, and opportunities for locals to get out and about and enjoy their community.
The project will deliver a Rail Trail in the existing Bundaberg North to Gin Gin rail corridor connecting Bundaberg to Gin Gin, linking the existing Gorge Rail Trail and Watawa Trail.
The trail will be 2.5 metres-wide, with access to car parking areas, and will also include the refurbishment of the Splitters Creek Bridge plus the reinstatement of new pre-fabricated bridges where existing bridges/culverts were constructed in the flood openings.
“Global economies have done it tough due to COVID-19, and Queensland hasn’t been immune.
“Thanks to the efforts of Queenslanders in keeping our health response strong however, we’ve been able to continue delivering Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.
“And for roads and transport that means getting on with a record $23 billion pipeline of projects just like this, which will support 21,500 jobs.”
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey thanked the Government for investing in rail trails and supporting the Bundaberg-Gin Gin project.
“The rail trail will contribute to improved health, tourism growth and community connections,” he said.
“North Bundaberg and Gin Gin in particular will see increased business activity and have new recreational opportunities.
“A feasibility study last year estimated potential economic benefits of nearly $3 million per year.”