Rail line is Imbil lifeline
SYMON Duggan is an Imbil businessman and he is waiting for a train.
So is the rest of the tourism-dependent Mary Valley town.
"Ted Mitchell's absolutely right," the Imbil Railway Hotel licensee told The Gympie Times yesterday.
"The Rattler has to come to Imbil."
A former Mary Valley Heritage Rail manager, Mr Mitchell says he is concerned at reports that the $2 million in State Government funding allocated to resurrect the train will not get it all the way to Imbil.
He predicts the Rattler will "die" within 12 months if the line is repaired only to Dagun or Amamoor.
"Imbil is open for business and we want the Rattler back," Mr Duggan said.
"I've seen that train come in 900 times and I've seen 400 people get off on a Sunday.
"The steam train can't carry that many people, so they had to run the Red Rocket (diesel rail motor) as well.
"It made Sunday a very important day for Imbil and it made Imbil a very important town for the Rattler.
"We've got infrastructure and we've got the experience of catering for big crowds.
"There are market stalls and casual jobs and visitors.
"It puts smiles on faces and it's good for the town economically and socially.
"We employ parents and we employ their kids.
"On Sundays we can have up to 14 people working in the pub alone.
"We've given dozens of kids their first job.
"The camping grounds benefit, because it makes Imbil more attractive to visitors.
"The Newman Government saw the potential and a pro-active Gympie Regional Council needs to unleash that potential and restore one of the state's most dynamic tourist attractions."