'Final approval' means it's full steam ahead for train
THE Mary Valley Rattler will charm the Gympie region once again following final approval today of $4.7 million State Government funding.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Jackie Trad has this afternoon confirmed the "preliminary and conditional" announcement that was made last month.
"This funding will not only restore vital infrastructure on the Mary Valley Heritage Railway track, Gympie Regional Council estimates it will generate 22 much needed local jobs," Ms Trad said.
"Council has worked hard with the Department of Transport and Main Roads to get this project off the ground and I'm pleased to say work can now kick off.
"I look forward to seeing the benefits of the renewed Mary Valley Rattler flow to the Gympie community.
"The Works for Queensland program is perfect to support this fantastic revival as it provides funding for community infrastructure projects that may have been derailed or in need of a boost to get across the line."
Mayor Cr Mick Curran said this was an incredibly important project for the region.
"This is fantastic news. It now means that we can get on with delivering this project for the wider community. With extraordinary tourism results over the past 12 months, the Rattler will add another quality tourism product to what is already available in the region," Cr Curran said.
"I congratulate the Queensland Government on the Works for Queensland program as this allows opportunities for regional Queensland to be more sustainable."
The funding is part of $5.9 million in Works for Queensland funding going towards four projects in Gympie which council estimates will create or support a total of 55 jobs.
The Works for Queensland Program is part of the State Infrastructure Fund. For more information visit: www.dilgp.qld.gov.au/works-for-queensland
The intention is that the track will be finalised before the end of this year.
"The Rattler requires $10.8 million capital, which we now have," the Mayor said back in February.
Of that, $3.8m will be from the economic development levy of $65 for each ratepayer, announced in last year's council budget."
Gympie MP and Rattler board member Tony Perrett has said it is now up to the Rattler Railway Company to meet and exceed income projections.
To meet Works for Queensland guidelines, the project has to be completed by November 30, Mr Perrett has said.