Feasibility study advocacy

Is the rail trail a good idea? Well, yes of course it is – but how good an idea is it? How much will it cost? In what ways will it impact all the communities along the line? How can it be built? What business opportunities will arise from the trail? Where will it go exactly?

We need to secure something in the order of $100,000+ to fund a top-quality and thorough feasibility study to answer these questions and more for a trail spanning two shires.

Before government will provide capital funding to build the Castlemaine – Maryborough Rail Trail (we’re estimating about $15 million) they will need to see two things. One is significant community support and the other is a well-researched, objective feasibility study and business case. These kind of studies identify the likely costs, risks and benefits of potential projects. Hopefully, and we’re quite confident of this, a study will show that the trail’s social and economic benefits outweighs its costs.

It can also look at more specific options like the route, build stages, related infrastructure such as rest stops, toilets and plantings, and local remediations for bridges and embankments to make them safe.

We’re looking to the State Government to fund the majority of the cost of the study. The shires of Mt Alexander and Central Goldfields have already pledged to seed-fund the cost of the study and during February 2022 we aspire to raise another $12,000 in community donations. A trifecta of community, council and government will put genuine skin in the game. Let’s go!