Rail Trail Initiative Unites Communities and Boosts Regional Economy 

Bicycle Queensland (BQ) is thrilled to unveil a noteworthy accomplishment in Queensland’s Rail Trail Network – a venture dedicated to fostering community connections, driving regional economic prosperity, and preserving our historical heritage. 

BQ has created a documentary-style promotional video to showcase this milestone.

The Rail Trail Network brings together various stakeholders, including local councils, community user groups, regional tourism associations, and the Department of Transport and Main Roads. The project aims to enhance communities, preserve history, general tourism and create a prosperous future for business communities. 

The Rail Trail Network demonstrates the power of collaboration between local councils, community user groups, local businesses, and regional tourism associations to rejuvenate our regional towns and foster a sense of historical pride. 

Andrew Demack, Director of Advocacy BQ worked on the production of the video, proudly supported by the Queensland Government Department of Transport and Main Roads. Andrew spent time on the trail, interviewing community members, local candidates, and local Bicycle User Groups (BUGs) to document how rail trails are enhancing our historical pride, boosting regional economies, and creating a shared recreational space for all. 

Rail trails are transforming our disused railway corridors into vibrant, multi-use recreational trails, connecting communities, and revitalising our regional towns. 

The Rail Trail has successfully united various stakeholders under a common vision. Local councils such as South Burnett, North Burnett and Gladstone have embraced this opportunity to enhance community infrastructure, promote active living, and preserve our rich railway heritage.  

Community user groups including Fraser Coast Bicycle User Group, South Burnett Mountain Bike Club, and Boyne-Burnett Inland Rail Trail Association have actively participated in the planning and development of these trails, turning up to volunteer during working bees, donating time and building resources and ensuring they meet the needs and expectations of the people who will use them.   

The release of a captivating video will significantly boost the promotion and usage of the Rail Trail. It showcases the breathtaking beauty of the trail networks and highlights the historical significance of the converted railway lines, enticing viewers to explore and make use of the Rail Trail. 

Using social media and multiple platforms, the video aims to reach a diverse audience, and to target & generate buy-in, support and investment in developing rail trails among local governments, business, industry, and communities.  “As the CEO of Bicycle Queensland, I am truly excited about the positive impact that the Rail Trail Initiative will have on regional economies. We have seen similar projects worldwide demonstrate the potential for rail trails to inject new life into regional towns and drive economic prosperity. The Central Otago rail trail in New Zealand, for instance, attracts over 15,000 visits annually and contributes more than $12 million to the regional economy. Closer to home, the Northern Rivers Rail Trail in northern NSW has surpassed initial estimates of trail users by over 300% within its first quarter of operation. These success stories showcase the immense potential that the Rail Trail Initiative holds for our own regions, and we look forward to witnessing its positive impact firsthand.” – Lisa Davies Jones, CEO of Bicycle Queensland.


BQ response to coronial findings on the death of Carolyn Lister

10 October 2023

Bicycle Queensland Interim CEO Lisa Davies-Jones said: “Bicycle Queensland has been very disturbed to read the coronial report into the death of Carolyn Lister, who died while riding her bike to work at the Royal Brisbane Hospital in July 2020.”

“Carolyn Lister’s death was tragic and unnecessary.  She died because there is no appropriate cycling corridor around the Royal Brisbane Hospital, a major workplace. The truck which hit her did not have safety features which have since been made mandatory for new trucks in Australia.

“Once again, we grieve Carolyn Lister’s tragic and unnecessary death, and we express our deepest condolences to her husband John and family.

“Bicycle Queensland has consulted with Brisbane-area bicycle user groups, who also shared our grief and our disappointment with the long wait for these findings, and the delays that this has caused to making our roads and paths safer.

“We call on Brisbane City Council to urgently implement the upgraded paths and crossings along O’Connell Terrace and Bowen Bridge Rd as mentioned as an “Interim Concept Plan” in the coroner’s findings. If there was any reason to wait for these safety improvements (taking into account the active transport community’s feedback on the concept designs), the publication of these findings removes that reason. We also note that the bikeway and shared path network of inner-city Brisbane is incomplete and disjointed, and that there are still many locations around Brisbane where heavy vehicles share space with vulnerable road users including bike riders, walkers, and scooter riders.

“Every person who leaves home in the morning to travel on our roads and paths has the rightful expectation that they will return home again. Brisbane City Council and the State Government must do more to provide for the safety of all users of our transport systems.

“We welcome the Federal Government’s announcement last week on new mandatory safety features for heavy vehicles, especially side under-run protection, blind spot mirrors, and safety sensors. Had the truck which ran over Carolyn Lister been better equipped with modern safety features, the driver might have been alerted to Carolyn’s presence. However, as the Federal announcement only applies to new vehicles, it would not have saved Carolyn, as the owner-driver fleet is typically older and less safe than trucks owned by the large logistics firms such as Boral.

“We call on State Government and Federal Government to jointly fund safety improvements to the existing fleet of trucks, focussing on assisting owner-drivers to ensure that their vehicles meet the latest safety standards including side under-run protection, blind spot mirrors, and safety sensors.

“We call on State and Federal Government to phase out trucks which cannot be made to meet current safety standards.