Amy Gillett Rail Trail – extension from Mt Torrens to Birdwood
Posted on 07/09/23
In 2020 the Adelaide Hills Council was successful in securing $2.6m in funding from the Federal Government to complete stage 4 of the Amy Gillett Rail Trail, from Mt Torrens to Birdwood, a distance of 6km. As negotiations between the Council and the State Government relating to additional funding and ongoing maintenance costs had failed to reach a reasonable outcome, the Council decided that the State Government should take over the project. This was seen as a logical outcome given that the State Government was responsible for the construction and ongoing maintenance of the first 3 stages of the trail.
Following a change of Government in March 2022, the new State Government commenced preliminary investigation on the project in consultation with the Council.
In early 2023 work commenced on preliminary design of the trail and consultation with the community and adjoining landowners.
The Council has been advised that the Federal Government Funding of $2.6m was still committed however there is a looming and firm deadline from the Federal Government of 28 October 2023 for funding from all parties to be secured. The Council has committed $500,000 to the project and the future of the project rests on a funding allocation from the State Government.
It is understood that the State Government has offered the Council $2.6m toward the project on the condition that the Council matches the funding with $2.6m (until we are told otherwise, it is assumed that Council’s $2.6m funding will be in the form of the Federal Government funding of $2.6m). It is also believed that the that the State Government has told the Council that the funding is conditional on the Council undertaking the project (at their cost) and taking responsibility for the ongoing maintenance of the trail (this is assumed to be responsibility for stage 4 only, Mt Torrens to Birdwood).
The council considered the State Government’s offer at a confidential meeting of Council held on 4 September 2023 and it is believed that the Council will submit an ‘alternate offer’ to the State Government.
The Federal Government’s funding deadline of 28 October 2023 is fast approaching. If the Federal Funding of $2.6m is not received, the Council will need to find the funding to match the State Government’s offer.