Monaro Rail Trail Draft Feasibility Report on public exhibition

The Monaro Rail Trail Draft Feasibility report has been released and Snowy Monaro Regional Council has placed the report on public exhibition and is calling for the community to provide feedback.

The Monaro Rail Trail is predicted to bring economic benefits to the Bombala local economy and a world class trail attracting tourism to Bombala.

The Monaro Rail Trail is predicted to bring economic benefits to the Bombala local economy and a world class trail attracting tourism to Bombala.

The draft report presents a number of outcomes in support of the proposed rail trail with a number of conditions that need to be considered if the project is to go ahead.

One issue that has been identified by the report is the requirement for the rail line to not be reinstated as a trail could not share the same corridor as the rail service.

Subject to a number of conditions being met the study recommends the proposed rail trail proceed.

It is estimated the cost of the Rail Trail would be $48m unsealed or up to $63m sealed.

The predicted economic benefits of the proposed rail trail include that it would inject up to $19m from Michelago to Bombala or $24m from Queanbeyan to Bombala, of additional expenditure into the local economy per year at the same stimulating business growth.

Estimated maintenance costs are $852,000 per year from Queanbeyan to Bombala or $660,000 per year for the Michelago to Bombala stretch.

The feasibility study also states that 'funding this amount may require either a special rate variation or funding from existing operational budgets with a corresponding reduction in service provision for other general fund activities or a combination of both'.

When compared with other rail trails in NSW and Queensland, each individual section of the proposed Monaro Rail Trail rates well due mainly to the presence of a town with services at both ends.

The study also suggests maintenance costs can be significantly lowered by 'Friends of' groups doing volunteer maintenance.

Snowy Monaro Regional Council mayor is urging residents have a look at the Rail Trail study.

"I encourage people to view the draft feasibility report and take the time to have their say. It's important we hear from as many people as possible by 5pm, January 22."

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