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The survival of a rural village south of Brisbane as a quaint country tourist retreat is on tenterhooks after a massive state government infrastructure funding splurge on the weekend.
The township of Logan Village, which is at a developmental crossroads, could benefit from a $200 million state government Building Acceleration Fund unveiled on Sunday.
But residents said it could also signal the area’s death knell if planners refused to listen to residents.
Logan Village cyclists Paul Casbolt, middle, with John and Julie Shera on the rail trail land at Logan Village. PHOTO: Richard WalkerThey claim Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick’s whopping fund could lead to a four-lane highway through their rural slice of paradise using parts of a disused rail corridor, earmarked for a tourist bushwalking and cycling track.
Mr Dick did not specify where the money would go but said it would create jobs and construction projects across the state with the help of councils, property developers, businesses and industry.
He outlined its uses at a meeting yesterday with developers at Yarrabilba, 7km from the historic Logan Village, hinting it would dovetail with a $1.2 billion strategy he announced for the Yarrabilba-Logan Village area in May last year.
That funding, largely promised by developers, was to build roads, put down sewerage pipes and other infrastructure.
Some Logan Village residents had hoped money would be spent on turning the disused rail corridor into a tourist drawcard enticing cyclists and bushwalkers to the track which links the village to Bethania, Yarrabilba and Beaudesert.
Bushwalkers will be able to take the trail from Yarrabilba to Logan Village Hotel once the trail is built. PHOTO: Richard WalkerHowever, an end date for such a project was not given last week when Logan City Council said it would only fund half of the $2.5 million trail linking the residential estate at Yarrabilba to the rural Logan Village.
Residents said the lack of full council funding for trail project, left it open to state government development whims.
Under the council plan, the 3.5km trail, which served the US Camp Cable base during WWII, would be built on the disused Canungra rail spur line.
The state government transferred the land to Logan as road reserve and the council marked the rail trail as a key priority project in 2018.
Logan Village resident Paul Casbolt said residents loved the idea but wanted a comprehensive cycle and walking track that made use of the entire 10.5km disused rail corridor to Bethania.
He said last week’s Logan council decision to only give half the funding for the tiny part of the rail trail left the door open for the project to be reliant on state government development whims.
To add to uncertainty around the trail, a council email on July 8, confirmed the disused rail corridor was preserved for roads not for a recreational rail trail or tourist attractions.
It backed up an email from October in which council Strategy Director David Hansen said land along Waterford-Tamborine Rd, the main road through Logan Village, was not wide enough to accommodate a four-lane highway, the current service road known as Albert St and a rail trail.
Waterford Tamborine Rd, Logan Village, where the state has plans for a four-lane highway. PHOTO: Richard Walker“That leaves it in the hands of the state government (which has now announced a major fund to build roads and infrastructure) — not rail trails,” Mr Casbolt said.
“Our previous council was prepared to sacrifice Logan Village’s Albert Street service road and historic local access so the disused rail corridor could be used for public transport.
“Apart from being told that the council was applying to the state government’s Transport and Main Roads Department to fund a second Feasibility Study and Design, we’ve heard no more since May last year.”
Logan has many disconnected walking and cycling paths but no continuous off-road trails like Brisbane, Gold Coast or Ipswich Council areas.
A Logan Village forum in 2018, found that residents thought there was a demand for safe off-road recreation trails which they said would encourage increased walking and cycling and attract visitors.
The Logan Village community also has a petition before state parliament calling for a meeting with the Department of Transport over the issue and for an overall plan for main and local roads.
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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