Rail Trail named best public works project
THE Brisbane Valley Rail Trail has been named Public Works Project of the Year.
Somerset Regional Council were recognised for its efforts in upgrading and maintaining the trail, receiving top award of Best Public Works Project ($2 to $5 million) for the 161km trail.
The accolades were delivered at this year's Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia Awards for Excellence, during a ceremony in Hobart this week.
Council Director of Operations Andrew Johnson accepted the awards, paying tribute to "team Somerset”.
"This is a wonderful win, not only for council but for the entire Somerset community,” he said.
"To receive an accolade of international excellence like this, it just shows you what an asset the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail has become for South-East Queensland.”
Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann agreed, saying council was committed to the continued development of the trail.
"It's our biggest tourism driver and a really significant part of the Somerset economy,” Cr Lehmann said.
SRC has already committed itself to further developing the rail trail infrastructure, having lodged a funding application for $2.2 million to improve the surface between Esk and Fernvale.
There are also calls for community feedback on a $7 million proposal to establish a sealed bikeway on the rail trail from Fernvale to Pine Mountain.
READ MORE: Bikeway to bridge two communities
"Council is investing in the rail trail not only for our community, but for Queensland and the rest of Australia. This award shows we're on the right track, and council staff are developing a really high quality product.” Cr Lehmann said.
IPWEA Queensland Chief Executive Officer Leigh Cunningham said the awards recognised best practice, innovation and positive community impact.
"The awards enable people to see the value of the projects delivered for their community,” she said.
"It also creates awareness for the professionals who deliver these projects, people dedicated to public service and making a difference to their communities.”