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The Molonglo Rail trail proposed for the disused Captains Flat railway received a boost with Country Labor Candidate for Monaro and Shadow Minister for Tourism, Steve Whan, saying a Labor Government will provide $50,000 to fund the feasibility work on the rail trail.
“As a person who has ridden rail trails in Victoria and who takes the bike with me as I travel around the State I have seen the boost cycle tourism can provide to small ountry communities,” said Steve Whan.
“Captains Flat and Bungendore are no exception, a rail trail is a low cost piece of infrastructure that could bring thousands of people each year to visit our region and Captains Flat in particular.
“The ride itself will take people through some beautiful country (which we locals sometimes take for granted!) and on to the fascinating heritage precinct in Captains Flat with its rail and mining infrastructure. It will then take those people on to spend some money on food and drink at local businesses or even to stay overnight somewhere along the way.
“Estimates in Victoria indicate that rail trail tourism brings about $150 per day into the local economy from each person using the track.
“The first step though is to undertake a full feasibility study that will identify the cost of the track and the long term maintenance and funding needs. Critically it would also discuss carefully with landowners and residents along the route exactly what is needed to deal with any concerns they might have. That includes full fencing, provision of crossing points and even supply of stock water across the track.
“The very enthusiastic local Molonglo rail trail committee chaired by Bill Taylor have already started some of this work and are making good progress.
“The experience in Victoria shows that rail trails and agriculture can have a very good coexistence.
This article first appeared on www.braidwoodtimes.com.au
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