The AGM for Monaro Rail Trail Inc was held at the Cooma Library and online on Monday 14 November 2022. The major outcomes and discussion points were these:
Ken Lister stepped down as President. He has occupied the role with great energy and effectiveness since 2020. Ken moved to the Sunshine Coast earlier this year for family reasons. His strong advocacy and experience will not be lost as he remains on the Management Committee as an Ordinary Member.
The new President is Carlo Botto who had been elected as Vice-President at the 2021 AGM. Carlo is an electrical engineer who early in his career worked for Snowy Hydro. Over the past 40 years he has filled senior executive and non-executive board positions with large energy businesses. He is a keen cyclist and powerful promoter of the Monaro Rail Trail (MRT) cause.
The new Vice President is Frank Bakker who is a mechanical engineer with over 40 years’ experience, the last 20 in project management.
The rest of the committee comprises two office bearers and 7 ordinary members from across the entire Snowy Monaro, Queanbeyan and ACT regions possessing an extensive and highly experienced mix of skills and experience.
Highlights from the departing President’s Report:
Obtaining funding for and the completion of Trail Development Plans prepared by the two Mikes for a total of 76 kms of the 213 kms rail corridor.
Obtaining funding for and the completion of the Bombala Cycle Path by MRT Inc linking the township to the trail head of the MRT which will be located there.
Completion internally of a comprehensive Business Case for the entire MRT and a Community Consultation Plan without outside funding.
Pre-election commitment of $1m for the southernmost section of the MRT by the Federal Labor Candidate for the Eden-Monaro electorate affirmed in the October Budget.
Resolution by both Councils to continue supporting the MRT planning including negotiations with NSW government bodies for a draft of the proposed lease.
Resolution by Snowy Monaro Regional Council (SMRC) of a tourist train proposal in the southern section delaying the MRT from being progressed there.
Strong support from NSW government funding and approval bodies for the MRT in general and for the fully designed sections in the north in particular.
Extensive stakeholder engagement, consultation and networking.
The decisions by the two Councils to vote against a lodging an application for funding the northern and southernmost sections (66kms in total).
Not obtaining funding for MRT Inc to project manage the Nimmitabel Cycle Path .
Not receiving advice as to whether the two Councils and MRT Inc’s jointly prepared application for funding for the Mikes to prepare Trail Development Plans for the remaining 137 kms of the MRT and for a biosecurity plan has been successful.
Next 12 months:
Decision on the funding grant referred to in the previous bullet point to be made.
If successful pro-actively assist the two Councils prepare a capital funding application for three sections of the MRT comprising 71 kms in total either at the same time or in two stages.
Fund raising initiatives for the other reports required and to increase membership of MRT Inc