South Burnett Regional Council deputy mayor Kathy Duff, mayor Keith Campbell and councillor Danita Potter agreed to apply for funding for a feasibility study for the Proston to Murgon Trail.
South Burnett Regional Council deputy mayor Kathy Duff, mayor Keith Campbell and councillor Danita Potter agreed to apply for funding for a feasibility study for the Proston to Murgon Trail. Will Hunter

Rail trail study one cycle closer for Proston

A RAIL trail feasibility study is one step closer for the proposed Proston to Murgon Trail application.

South Burnett Regional Council agreed to submit an application to the Rail Trail Local Government Grants program during their general meeting on January 16.

Mayor Keith Campbell said this would be for 100 per cent of the funding to investigate the feasibility of a potential rail trail from Murgon to Hivesville to Proston.

The decision comes after a public meeting hosted by the Coverty Creek Community Development and Social Club in Proston on January 8.

Cr Campbell said the meeting was well attended with a strong positive and negative community support for the project.

"Should this (the funding) be successful it will give everyone the opportunity to have their say," he said.

"The real purpose is to bring about economic consideration for the businesses in Proston."

Councillor Ros Heit said the study would give them the information needed on the proposed rail trail.

"I'm fully supportive of getting this evidence so we can make this decision in the future," she said.

The study could also look into linking Boondoomba Dam and Proston with the rail trail to encourage tourism, Cr Heit said.

Councillor Gavin Jones said the decision to apply for the funding did not mean the council would or would not support the rail trail project after the study.

Councillor Terry Fleischfresser said he was wary of ongoing costs if the South Burnett took on an additional rail trail.

Councillor Roz Frohloff also had major concerns for the Proston to Murgon Rail trail project.

"With the property owners that this rail trail will be going through, I support them, I wouldn't want people walking down my backyard," she said.

Councillor Kathy Duff said the study would allow everyone to be fully aware of the impacts and costs of the rail trail.

"Part of the study is to talk to those farmers to work out is it feasible to go through their properties or around," she said.

"I think we owe it to the community of Proston to at least look at this feasibility study to see if it at least ticks some boxes."

Cr Duff said the applications for the grant program had to go through the local government and could not be applied for by other groups.

The program is a $14 million allocation over four years to support eligible local governments to plan, design, and construct rail trail on disused state owned corridors.

If the study funding application is successful, the program will be structured in two parts consisting of first a feasibility study and trail development plan.

This would be followed by design and construction of the trail.