- Thursday 27 February 2014
At today’s Ordinary Meeting, Sunshine Coast Council unanimously agreed to give in principle support for the re-activation of the existing heritage listed tramway line along Howard St in Nambour.
Division 10 Councillor Greg Rogerson said today’s decision is in the best interests of the Nambour and hinterland community as a heritage tram has enormous tourism potential for the region.
“If it goes ahead, Nambour will provide a major point of difference with the only two foot (600mm) gauge, battery packed, solar replenished tram in the world,” Cr Rogerson said.
“Visitors, railway buffs, international tourists and local families will come from far and wide to enjoy the unique tram experience we are proposing.
“It’s a significant demonstration of confidence from Council that we will work closely with Nambour Alliance and the Nambour Heritage Tram Group to further investigate, under a due diligence approach, the finance, delivery and operation of a Nambour tramway.
“Nambour has this incredibly heritage-rich sugar cane locomotive line and we’d be mad not to capitalise on what we already have and celebrate our sugar cane heritage.
“The line has been a feature in the Nambour streetscape for almost 100 years and is the only cane track in Queensland within a township’s centre.
“The proposed tram will have numerous flow-on benefits and will inevitably draw more attention to all that Nambour already has to offer including a wonderful diversity of shops and burgeoning café culture.
“So many people in the community are already behind this project and we’re going to need everyone to work together in the long-term to make the tram a reality and to keep it operational for many decades to come.
“The tramway could provide a focus for community events and it could potentially provide a commuter benefit if the costs, risks, revenue and benefits all align appropriately.
“To determine the widest range of issues, four operational scenarios have been considered, ranging from a purpose-built, battery-operated tram running on a regular daily schedule, to refurbished, ex-sugar mill locomotives towing purpose-built passenger carriages celebrating particular community events.
“All the options are on the table and the details will be identified in the next phase of the project which will investigate detailed costings, cost benefit analysis, legal and financial liability and the level of community capacity and volunteer base to support the ongoing operation of the tram.
“Council made a pledge to the Nambour community today – to do all it can to get Nambour back on track and I’m proud to be at the helm of making the dream a reality.”