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THE battle to preserve the Boyne Burnett Inland Rail Trail is approaching another junction with Gladstone Regional Council requesting quotes to undertake a feasibility study.
Council had two options on the table at Tuesday's general meeting; acknowledge the identified risks and continue with the Request for Quote for a feasibility study, or not proceed with the feasibility study.
The study option was chosen meaning council can proceed with requesting quotes to undertake a feasibility study for the Reids Creek (Gayndah) to Taragoola (Calliope) Rail Trail.
Once quotes are received council can apply for a fully funded feasibility study through the Queensland Cycling Action Plan, up to $100,000.
Should the quote exceed that amount council will need to 'seek further direction' as to funding the difference.
Deputy Mayor Chris Trevor said council would now seek out experts to see what's involved in getting the project up and running.
"Including the cost they'll be a risk- identification cost because we've got a lot of tunnels and bridges, and issues in relation to the State Government wanting to accept ownership of them as part of the deal," Cr Trevor said.
"We want to know as a council what our likely future recurrent costs are going to be in the event of us assuming liability, not only public liability in the event of an accident, but also liability in relation to restoration of any structural issues that are currently required or required in the future.
"If the State Government is going to be saying to us 'they're all your problem now and you will be responsible for the full cost, including any future work and costing when it comes to maintenance' ... that's what's got council spooked because how long is a piece of string?
"Unless we know the cost involved in that we don't know whether to proceed further with this.
"There is a community expectation that we do this and a significant number of people who support this project proceeding but at the end of the day we have to look at the economic cost and compare it to the economic benefits."
This article first appeared on www.gladstoneobserver.com.au
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