Establish a Castlemaine to Maryborough rail trail
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We want to create something socially useful for Central Victoria…
Our goal is to establish a multi-purpose recreational trail between Castlemaine and Maryborough.
A new trail for Central Victoria can connect visitors and local communities safely and picturesquely with our region’s landmarks and attractions, bringing prosperity and well-being for many. It can be safe, fun and good for the community and the land.
There is a 55km disused rail corridor between Castlemaine and Maryborough. We want it transformed into a world-class rail trail. A trail that can be used year-round by cyclists, walkers and horse riders of all ages and abilities.
A Castlemaine-Maryborough Rail Trail can connect residents in Castlemaine, Guildford, Newstead, Carisbrook and Maryborough - and tens of thousands of regional visitors every year with the region’s rich history, famous hospitality and abundant natural beauty.
But there’s a lack of action and communities in need…
The rail corridor has lain disused and forgotten for two decades or longer. In fact, around Guildford and Moolort the rail tracks are already being removed.
There are no plans for the return of rail on this route that have been accepted by any state government since the last passenger service ran more than four decades ago or since the last rail freight services almost two decades ago.
Instead, the land has become a growth corridor for weeds and pests. There is no longer any active land management along the route.
Meanwhile, motor vehicles - and cyclists, walkers and riders - are finding it ever harder to safely share the region’s most popular scenic road roads. In the absence of a trail, there are no accessible off-road alternatives along this route.
Plus, the towns and smaller communities along the route also need more activity now. They certainly do not need to wait another generation for rail services that are not coming back.
We have a sensible plan that deals with the now…
Our plan is better than leaving the land in limbo and un-cared for. A Castlemaine-Maryborough Rail Trail can change that.
The trail can support 100-150 trades and allied jobs during its construction. It can attract 65,000 – 100,000 cyclists, walkers and riders each year; most of them visitors. Visitors are forecast to inject more than $70 per person per day on average into the local economies - some $2m - $4m each year across the two regional shires.
The trail can also help boost outdoor participation, help inter-town commuting, promote well-being and bring other social benefits.
The trail's benefits are projected to significantly exceed its costs. Payback can occur in only a few years. It can be constructed relatively quickly and cheaply too.
What is needed right now is a feasibility study. A study that will reassure the community - and governments which provide the capital - that a trail’s social and economic benefits outweigh its costs. It can also look at some different options.
So, If you're excited at the prospect of this trail to:
- directly benefit the community and support jobs
- showcase this region to visitors
- provide sustainable land use
or if you just want a better and achievable future for our community and to make a difference, then please sign this petition today.
We the undersigned support a Castlemaine to Maryborough rail trail that connects our communities to foster well-being and bring local prosperity - and call on the Shire Councils of Mount Alexander and Central Goldfields, jointly or individually, to initiate a feasibility study that can help reassure the community and government of the net social and economic benefits that a trail can deliver to this region.
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