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22 October, 2021

Westbrook Wyreema Rail Trail mostly popular

A Feasibility Study undertaken by Mike Halliburton Associates found that Wyreema and Westbrook residents are generally in favour of the proposed rail trail between their two towns.

The rail trail will run directly north from Wyreema, whereas the line in use runs north-east towards Toowoomba.

If built, the rail trail will run from Obst Park in Wyreema along the disused rail line to Westbrook Park.

Two community consultation events, known as Open Houses, were held on 2nd March in Wyreema and Toowoomba.

Of the 27 people who attended the Wyreema Open House, three identified themselves as adjoining landholders.

The Feasibility Study said the landholders “had genuine queries about aspects of the rail trail and how it might impact on their farming operations,” but were not necessarily opposed to it.

Everyone else who attended the session was supportive.

The six people who attended the Toowoomba Open House to discuss the Westbrook Wyreema Rail Trail were all in favour.

The Feasibility Study reported that the comments from those who supported the proposal centred around:

  • The rail trail will provide a safe, accessible walking and riding opportunity for all age groups and all abilities of users.
  • Critically, this section provides a missing safe north-south link as the nearby road option (Toowoomba Karara Road) is very unsafe for cycling.
  • Need for connection to walk trails and mountain bike trails at Mt Peel.
  • Corridor provides potential links to proposed/possible cycling routes to the north (to Gowrie Junction and possibly Highfields) on a disused railway corridor (in part) and other possible networks.

   The issues raised by adjoining landholders included the effects of spraying and weeds.

Design suggestions made by attendees included using a sealed surface to increase the number of possible user groups, how to best deal with the Toowoomba Athol Road crossing at Westbrook and the potential for black soil to damage the sealed surface.

At the TRC Environment and Community Committee meeting last Wednesday, Councillors proposed the funding for the design of the Westbrook Wyreema Rail Trial be included in the 2022-23 budget.

Cr Megan O’Hara Sullivan said she was “hugely supportive of the rail trail.

“To bring economic benefit to the towns of Wyreema and Westbrook... will be amazing,” Cr O’Hara Sullivan said.

“I would really like to find a way to fund that design and expedite the progression of this.”

The rail trail will likely only go ahead if funding is secured from the Queensland Government.

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