Council Adopts O'Keefe Rail Trail Plan

Following community consultation, the Greater Bendigo City Council has adopted a plan to guide the ongoing development, management and promotion of the O'Keefe Rail Trail at Monday's Council meeting.

The 49 kilometre O'Keefe Rail Trail, which runs from Bendigo to Heathcote, is one of Greater Bendigo's primary nature-based attractions for both residents and visitors to the region for walking, cycling, trail running and horse riding in some sections.

City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf said the O'Keefe Rail Trail Plan 2024 outlines key actions to improve the way the rail trail is governed, managed, maintained, promoted, funded, activated and evaluated.

"The recommendations and content of the plan creates clarity with the City and the O'Keefe Rail Trail's key stakeholders and reaffirms the City's commitment to working with the Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail group," Cr Metcalf said.

"It ensures that a clear, proactive and planned approach is taken to the ongoing development and management of the trail to promote increased usage by both local residents and visitors alike.

"Significant infrastructure and investment to develop the O'Keefe Rail Trail into what it is today, has already taken place and the aim of the plan is to build on this to ensure that the trail can achieve its full potential as a sustainable recreational and tourist trail into the future."

Key actions of the Plan include:

  • Improving amenities along the Rail Trail (toilets, drinking fountains, wayfinding signage and seating)
  • Improving safety along the Rail Trail (improved road crossings at high traffic areas, reviewing areas of shared use with motor vehicles)
  • A greater emphasis on supporting biodiversity values along the trail
  • Ongoing management including detailing how the City will manage and maintain the Rail Trail along with confirming a commitment to continued working with the Friends of the Bendigo Kilmore Rail Trail (FBKRT)
  • Ongoing marketing and promotion of the Rail Trail
  • Defining level of infrastructure and maintenance service standards to help clearly define the expectations for the Rail Trail.
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