Advisory committee to help steer Mary to Bay Rail Trail development

THE Mary to Bay Rail Trail is gaining momentum, with the formation of an advisory committee to help the Fraser Coast Regional Council progress with the project.

The Mary to Bay Rail Trail will create a new link between Hervey Bay and Maryborough for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. IMAGE: Supplied.

The trail is a shared path that will link Hervey Bay and Maryborough along the former rail line.

It will be used by pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

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Council has already invested in earlier stages of the project – including the construction of 13.5km of pathway from the Urangan Pier to Nikenbah and 3.5km section from Piggford Lane to Stockyard Creek.

The Mary to Bay Trail Development Plan was endorsed to guide future works in 2019.

Division 6 Councillor David Lewis said the new advisory committee will provide a forum for the community and user groups to make recommendations to Council on the development and management of the Mary to Bay Rail Trail and oversee the implementation of the development plan.

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“The committee will enable Council to tap into the experience and expertise of members to develop the trail,” Cr Lewis said.

“It will also help apply for grant funding from other levels of government.”

People interested in joining the committee can lodge an expression of interest through the Council Engagement Hub.  

Nominations close on June 24.

The advisory committee will include:

  • Two Councillors (Chairman Cr Lewis and Cr Phil Truscott)
  • One representative from the Department of Transport and Main Roads
  • One representative from Fraser Coast Tourism and Events
  • Six members to represent key user groups and the community

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A feasibility study commissioned by Council found that developing the Mary to Bay Rail Trail could inject $3.2-million into the local economy by providing a tourism drawcard and benefit locals who want to explore the great outdoors by walking or riding along the trail, said Cr Lewis.

In the past two years, members of the Fraser Coast Bicycle Users Group have gained state government and Council funding and been heavily involved in refurbishment works of sections of the trail.

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“Council is determined to ensure we have a safe, healthy and active community, as well as a strong, resilient and diversified economy, and the development of this trail would help deliver both those objectives.”

The development of the feasibility study and the development plan was funded by the Queensland Government through the Rail Trail Local Government Grants program.

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