Wangetti Trail grows 15kms following advanced planning
The proposed $21.25 million Wangetti Trail has grown by 15 kilometres than first expected following detailed planning and engineering work and its new alignment is now 94 kilometres.
Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said the new trail alignment will only add more breathtaking opportunities to this eco-tourism project.
“It will showcase the pristine beauty of the Wet Tropics and Great Barrier Reef, while embracing the Far North’s coastal ruggedness and hinterlands.
“This has the potential to become a really historic and treasured world-class attraction,” she said.
Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said ‘ground-truthing’ work, involving local experts physically walking the track and plotting its course, revealed the Trail would be longer and include more stops and rest areas for visitors.
“Initial engineering and design works are complete. The next step will be to engage with potential market operators considering the project.
“Subject to approvals, and funding, construction could start late this year or early next year,” said Ms Lui.
Mayor Leu, meanwhile, said it was disappointing to see no money towards the Wangetti Trail in the recent budget announcement.
“However, we will continue advocating the Federal Government for funding,” she said.
The original track was 76 kilometres, with an extra 15 kilometres available for keen hikers and mountain bike riders. The refined trail includes bridges, campsites and has links to Ellis and Wangetti beaches.
Following detailed ecological investigations and engagement with industry, the new trail alignment will have five campsites for a six day hike.
“The trail is expected to provide locals with another fantastic recreational opportunity in Douglas Shire.
“Keen hikers and mountain biking enthusiasts will undoubtedly be eagerly waiting for the trail to be completed,” said Mayor Leu.
Ms Kate Jones, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games, said the Wangetti Trail is a game-changer for Tropical North Queensland.
“Once it’s complete, the Wangetti Trail will create 150 jobs and offer up to $300 million of benefit over the life of the project.
“We’re working with all Traditional Owners to create jobs and business opportunities for locals,” she said.
Construction on the Mowbray pedestrian bridge and Trail North (north of the Mowbray Bridge to Port Douglas) could start as early as September 2019 and be complete by March 2020.
Ms Jones said locals could give feedback on the new trail alignment online between Monday 8 April 2019 and Friday 31 May 2019 by visiting the Department's Consultation website.
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