30 October, 2021

We understand that government types want to see us develop a feasibility study for the trail first. But for CMRT’s Maryborough Community Ambassador, Deb Macer, the conclusion is simple: ‘Build it and they will come’. In particular for Maryborough and its beautiful environs.

Where do you hail from? Maryborough. I’ve lived here for more than 30 years.

What do you do? I’m a retired senior English teacher and sometimes get called back for relief teaching. Now, I volunteer. I’m active in climate change advocacy. I also love cycling and getting outdoors.

Where have you cycled? I’ve cycled in Victoria and NSW, and overseas in California USA. Cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Franciso was a real highlight.

What’s your interest in getting outdoors? I’m a keen Park Run participant, a bike rider and I love walking and getting out into the bush. The Australian bush is a beautiful place. Central Victoria in particular.

Tell us more. I’ve enjoyed every bit of the Victorian rail trails I’ve ridden. Like Queenscliff-to-Drysdale with family and friends. Beautiful, stopping at the little stations, taking our time. And the Bright-to-Wangaratta trail over two days, again with family and friends, staying overnight at Myrtleford. We left cars at both ends of the trail and dropped our gear at Myrtleford.

So trail access is important for trail riders? Yes, the best part about the proposed trail Maryborough-to-Castlemaine is that it has a railway station at each end. Visitors can reach either end – or take the return trip home – by train. What a bonus for tourists and locals alike!

What else do you like about trails? I love the countryside: so variable, and small-town hospitality. There’s always trails on my wish list. For example, another really scenic trail I’m keen to ride soon goes past Inverloch and into Kilcunda on the Bass Coast.

How long have you been a CMRT member? About six months. I was very excited to learn about the Castlemaine-to-Maryborough rail trail. What a wonderful thing it will be for our community. For health and fitness and our local economies too. Even starting by opening a small section of the trail would be great for families to ride out safely and have a picnic.

What can you tell us about being a Community Ambassador? In my first 3 months it’s been fun. It’s meeting people, visiting small businesses, planning future events: that sort of thing. It’s about listening and talking to people. Helping the communities in and around Maryborough connect with the benefits that a trail will bring – and signing our online petition, of course!

Any final thoughts about a new rail trail for Central Victoria? The trail will bring people to Castlemaine and Maryborough. Especially Maryborough: we’re not on a main tourist route. But the surrounding areas – like the Moolort Plains and Dunolly just to mention a couple of places – are really beautiful. A trail can bring new businesses to towns along the way. I can’t wait for the trail to open so I can get on my bike and get out there.

P.S. Our Community Ambassadors, like Deb, do an amazing job helping connect people in their local communities to the benefits of the trail. If you live in or around Maryborough and you’d like to get in touch with Deb (or volunteer with us like Deb) please reach out via our Contact Us form.