Rail trail named Australasia’s top public works project

Article image - Rail trail named Australasia’s top public works project Somerset Regional Council Director of Operations Andrew Johnson with Engineers Australia Tasmanian Division President David Finnigan

Somerset Regional Council’s Brisbane Valley Rail Trail has been named Public Works Project of the Year at the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) Awards for Excellence.

The Queensland council won the top award, also taking home Best Public Works Project ($2 to $5 million) for the 161km trail.
Council Director of Operations Andrew Johnson accepted the awards at a ceremony in Hobart in August, paying tribute to  'team Somerset'.

“This is a wonderful win, not only for Council but for the entire Somerset community,” Mr Johnson 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, and said 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,” Mayor Lehmann said.

“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.”

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,” Ms Cunningham said.

“It also creates awareness for the professionals who deliver these projects, people dedicated to public service and making a difference to their communities.”

In another bid to boost rail trail infrastructure, Council has lodged a funding application for $2.2 million to improve the surface between Esk and Fernvale.

It is also calling for community feedback on a $7 million proposal to seal a section of the trail from Fernvale to Pine Mountain.