ON THE LINE: Mondure dairy farmer Col Farrer stands on the original railway line on his property.
ON THE LINE: Mondure dairy farmer Col Farrer stands on the original railway line on his property. Contributed

Proposed Proston rail trail may cause dairy closure

A MONDURE landowner expects he will have to close down his dairy if a rail trail goes ahead on his land.

Col Farrer said if the proposed Proston to Murgon rail trail was approved his business would struggle.

"I expect we'd have to shut down the dairy if that went ahead," he said.

South Burnett Regional Council agreed to apply for funding to cover a feasibility study on the rail trail during their meeting on January 16.

Councillor Kathy Duff said if the study was approved, it would give the community and farmers the chance to have their say.

"All of the issues the farmers are concerned about would have to be addressed before a rail trail goes ahead," she said.

Mr Farrer's cows go to and from pasture via crossings along the original railway line on his property up to four times a day.

"It is hard to imagine how the cows would interact with people coming and going on the trail," he said.

The major problem is the cows do most of their grazing on the other side of the railway.

"There is no other access for our cattle to use, as the railway line cuts through the centre of our property and driving 200 cattle along the roadway four times a day is definitely not in the equation," Mr Farrer said.

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A rail trail would also raise biosecurity problems and interfere with the sustainability of the farms.

Cattle ticks could be spread to the properties along the trail, with horses and dogs potentially travelling regularly along the proposed rail trail.

Plans for more sustainable irrigation systems for the dairy farm would be knocked back if a rail trail was on the property.

"This rail trail will seriously interfere with our irrigation systems," Mr Farrer said.

He said surviving in the dairy industry was enough of a stress without the prospect of a rail trail going through his property.

"I don't need another thing to worry about," Mr Farrer said.

"I find it disappointing that food is a human's most sustainable and most important thing to have but it takes second place to all the non-essential items."