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The Queensland Government has announced this funding to develop this rail trail west of Brisbane, which could potentially have a length of 157km.

Click here for more information on the rail trail including map.

This is very exciting news and will be the first major rail trail development in Queensland. There are still many issues to be sorted out for a rail trail that will traverse four shires but this has been successfully done in many instances in Victoria already.

From our records this is the largest ever single funding source for a rail trail in Australia, which will be necessary to construct the longest continuous rail trail in Australia. The Queensland Government is to be congratulated for this commitment. Recognition should also go to the Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation for their efforts in establishing recreational trails, along with the rail trail groups.

The announcement of this funding arises from the priority trail recommendations of the South East Queensland Region Trails Strategy. This project was funded by the Queensland Government and the Council of Mayors South East Queensland, being managed by the Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation (Ms Kathy Kingsford, Executive Officer). The project was based on extensive research and consultation with outdoor recreation groups including Railtrails Australia. In 2006, the project received a recreation planning award from Parks and Leisure Australia.

The press release from Anna Bligh MP follows

Qld Govt funds trails and develops SEQ outdoor recreation strategy

The Queensland Government is making another significant investment in outdoor recreation in South East Queensland with Acting Premier and Minister for Infrastructure Anna Bligh today announcing that $8.8 million had been earmarked to develop three regional recreation trails over the next five years.

Ms Bligh also released a discussion paper seeking public input into the proposed South East Queensland Regional Outdoor Recreation Strategy – an initiative aimed at making even greater use of the region’s great outdoors. “Once completed, the Strategy will provide an overall framework for coordinating State and local government, private industry and community organisation efforts to deliver and manage outdoor recreation activity areas. It is envisaged the strategy will include plans for outdoor recreation activities including;

  • A Regional Trails Strategy that in the long-term will provide up to 9 trails for walking, cycling, horse riding and canoeing. (Funding for 3 announced today)
  • Developing a regional water-based recreational strategy – covering activities such as swimming, fishing, canoeing, yachting, and motorised recreational vehicles.
  • Formulating a plan for difficult-to-locate activities, such as trail-bike riding, and mountain biking.

“To get as much community involvement in the strategy as possible we are today releasing the Strategy’s Discussion Paper for public comment.