Hike funding

Monaro Rail Trail deal signed but fight for funding just beginning

When fully constructed, the Monaro Rail Trail will stretch over 213 kilometers from Queanbeyan to Bombala. Photo: Friends of Monaro Rail Trail.

It’s been a long time coming, but it looks like the Monaro Rail Trail project is finally moving forward after the first formal agreement was finalized late last month.

The signing of the agreement on Friday, January 28 marked a memorandum of understanding between the Snowy Monaro Regional Council (SMRC), Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) and Monaro Rail Trail Inc.

The last trains on the now disused Queanbeyan to Bombala railway line ran in 1986. Over the next 36 years, several plans were put forward including the potential reopening of the government-explored Canberra to Bombala railway line NSW from August 2018 to May. 2020.

Plans for a shared path from Queanbeyan to Bombala were explored in a feasibility study in November 2019. This report estimated that the “Monaro Rail Trail” had a benefit to cost ratio of 8:1 and a total annual economic gain of 25 million dollars for the premises. retail and hospitality businesses.

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The trail will pass through Queanbeyan, Michelago, Bredbo, Cooma, Nimmitabel and Bombala.

“The terrain and scenery will provide trail users with an unparalleled tour of our region’s natural environment, scenery and history,” said Monaro Rail Trail Inc. President Ken Lister.

“Local communities will benefit from thousands of cyclists, walkers and charity cyclists spending approximately $25 million a year in our region, creating jobs, connecting to other tourist attractions and providing opportunities for healthier lifestyles. .

Snowy Monaro Regional Council Mayor Narelle Davis signs the Memorandum of Understanding Friday, January 28 with MRT Inc. President Ken Lister, Snowy Monaro Regional Council CEO Peter Bascomb and Committee Member of MRT Inc., Frank Bakker. Photo: Snowy Monaro Regional Council.

Once the agreement is reached, the Monaro Rail Trail Inc. and two councils can develop detailed plans for the three sections of the line. They consist of a 24.5 kilometer track from Bombala to Jincumbilly, 11.5 kilometers south of Nimmitabel Station to MacLaughlan Meatworks and 49 kilometers from Queanbeyan to Michelago.

These plans will then be submitted as an application for funding from state and federal governments. The entire trail spans over 213 kilometers and is estimated to cost $50 million. This cost will be affected by the amount of path that needs to be sealed.

“We have received fantastic support from all chambers of commerce. The majority of new councilors are very strongly in favor of it and the mayor is an absolute champion of it,” Lister said.

“We look forward to submitting our grant applications to begin building sections of the trail, and eventually all sections will come together to become one of Australia’s most spectacular rail trails.

“It would be the only railway in Australia that starts in a capital…so that’s a real asset.”

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He cited Tumbarumba’s economic resurgence following the completion of his Tumbarumba-Rosewood Railway Trail as evidence of the potential impact of the Queanbeyan Trail in Bombala.

Snowy Monaro Regional Council Mayor Narelle Davis said a fully functional Monaro Rail Trail would provide the community with an opportunity to develop new businesses and could improve economic prospects for the entire region.

“The Monaro Rail Trail has the potential to be a world-class shared trail that attracts tourists from everywhere to visit the Snowy Monaro, bringing with them enormous economic benefits for our small towns and villages,” said Mayor Davis. .

To find out more, visit Monaro Trail Where Snowy Monaro Regional Council websites.

Original article published by Max O’Driscoll on riot law.