21 February, 2024

Tick of approval for disaster plans

The Australian Government’s National Emergency Management Agency has recognised a Somerset Regional Council economic resilience project in its Second National Action Plan.

Highland Street trail.
Highland Street trail.

The Second National Action Plan identifies and determines the most significant and transformational actions to reduce the impacts of disasters on all Australians.

Somerset Regional Council’s upgrades to the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, in response to the 2019 Black Summer Bushfires, was recognised in the plan for strengthening the region’s economy and aiding recovery.

The upgrades to the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail realise part of the Somerset Regional Council’s broader tourism strategy, which aims to generate a 10 per cent uplift in visitation spend, from $63 million to $73 million per annum.

This increase is projected to boost local employment, with an estimated 84 new full-time jobs set to be created.

The upgrades also position the region to capitalise on its proximity to Brisbane and coastal tourism destinations and tap into tourism opportunities associated with the 2032 Olympic Games.

The project has seen new pathways, trailheads, solar lighting, shelters, signage and turfing added along the trail in Esk, Toogoolawah, Lowood, and Fernvale.

The Mountain to Mountain connection upgrade has also enhanced tourism and recreation links between Mount Glen Rock and Blanks Mountain.

Alongside the new infrastructure, clearing works conducted as part of the upgrades have improved community safety by enhancing fire breaks and mitigating the risk of future bushfires.

The Queensland and Australian Governments invested more than $2.6 million in this project through the joint Commonwealth and Queensland Government Local Economic Recovery Program.

The Second National Action Plan is available on the National Emergency Management Agency’s Strategies and Frameworks webpage.


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