RATTLER RAMIFICATIONS: Amamoor General Store owner Mark Podberscek outside the Amamoor train station this week.
RATTLER RAMIFICATIONS: Amamoor General Store owner Mark Podberscek outside the Amamoor train station this week. Tom Daunt

Who will truly benefit from Rattler revival?

DESPITE the sudden resignation of Rattler Railway Company general manager Peter Blashki, and the controversy over the $3.7 million blowout in the Rattler project, Amamoor business owners are positive about the project's economic impact on the township.

With only a handful of shop fronts on the quiet main street, Amamoor stands to reap the most rewards from the Rattler's revival.

Amamoor General Store owner Mark Podberscek supports the campaign, but wonders about any economic boon it will bring to Amamoor businesses.

"For a start I just like the train; it is a real showpiece," Mr Podberscek said.

"In a small way I guess it is good for the shop in that people do stop and people will get off.

"Sometimes they will spend money here and sometimes they won't but we are not depending on it.

"We do appreciate it coming through because of what it does for the whole town.

"I think everybody wants to see it back in the Mary Valley," he said.

Gympie Regional Council has spent big in Amamoor in the lead-up to the Rattler's resurrection - anticipated to take its first run in May next year.

Work's were completed in the centre of town in September, 2016.

According to a council document, "streetscape capital improvements" around the general store, Rattler Precinct and Busby St will help secure the town's "economic future".

However, while the street may have had an overhaul it has been met with mixed reviews from locals.

There is still a significant amount of work to be done at the Amamoor train station before it could feasibly welcome Rattler passengers.

When the train ran all the way to Imbil, passengers had access to several local stores, the pub and markets held in conjunction with the train's arrival.

Though moves are believed to be afoot to generate some similar activity near the Amamoor Station, there is a lot to be achieved before May.

At the moment, roped off areas, rickety platforms with holes and grass in need of mowing can be seen from the main street.

While there is still at least five months until the train returns, past delays have instilled caution in the town's stake holders.

Mr Podberscek thinks infrastructure improvements have helped Amamoor aesthetically but have not actually alleviated parking problems.

"It looks good but it doesn't really improve the parking situation," he said.

"That's why we have had to invest quite a bit of money on the side (of the general store) for parking which has alleviated some of the problems.

"However, the beauty of the train coming through will attract people to the area.

"It is something to see," he said.

Gympie Times


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