The Mary Valley Rattler is getting a boost of about $1.1 million from this year’s budget.
The Mary Valley Rattler is getting a boost of about $1.1 million from this year’s budget.

’We can’t neglect it’: What the Rattler will cost this year

DECISIONS over the future of the Mary Valley Rattler will continue to be clouded thanks to more than $1 million injected into the controversial venture in the new council budget to be adopted this week.

Funding for the heritage train in this year's budget will be $713,000

However, another $300,000 for sleeper replacement from the budget was prepaid to the train in the 2019-20 financial year.

"If all things were equal, the cost to council (this year) would be around $1.1 million," acting chief financial officer David Lewis said.

A $300,000 payment for sleeper replacements was prepaid to the Rattler in 2019-20. Picture: Shane Zahner
A $300,000 payment for sleeper replacements was prepaid to the Rattler in 2019-20. Picture: Shane Zahner

The train's cost was dragged into the spotlight after the initially forecast $10.8 million resurrection price exploded to $17.5 million amid multiple delays.

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It was compounded by the need for the council to provide a letter of comfort ensuring ongoing funding to the Rattler Railway Company.

Mr Lewis said the council will be exploring the future of the train within the organisation, and its financial stability, over the next few months.

CEO Shane Gray says the simple fact of the Rattler is the council’s spent money on it and can’t neglect it.
CEO Shane Gray says the simple fact of the Rattler is the council’s spent money on it and can’t neglect it.

"It's a $17 million investment in the organisation that previous councils have committed to," Mr Lewis said.

"We've got to work out how to get a return on that huge investment we've had."

CEO Shane Gray said there was a simple reality to the council's situation.

"The hardest part is we've got it, we can't neglect it," Mr Gray said.

Gympie Times


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