Railtrails, volunteers & ‘proper’ govt attention – “Passion & dedication deserves politicians’ support & patronage…”
The main thrust of the above July 2006 PWF article is reinforced by Lynda McMillan’s recent comment – on the article – when facing the prospect of establishing a trail at Nyora, South Gippsland:
“As a person starting at the very begining of a rail trail concept from Nyora Vic I can relate to these comments. If a network of experienced independant mentors was provided it would be invaluable and help cut time on issues being re hashed at each proposal clear processes for people driving these projects is an essential support tool and resource.
BRING IT ON! But so far (as) the concept of this trail has been warmly met I wonder if will continue when it comes to commitment of the 3 shires land lease holders and all the other big bridges which need to be covered. Any info would be warmly received here.”
Michael Oxer, of Railtrails Australia, makes the point that there is a huge overlap of managing bodies and very ‘muddy waters’ when it comes to resource management. The dedication and generosity of volunteer members of local community-based committees, without whom trails would not be established or survive, mean businesses are attracted to surrounding communities and a healthy, enjoyable leisure activity is provided to many Australians, BUT…
A very real threat to this volunteer force is weariness, especially when the going is hard….a possibility that is already concerning Lynda, at Nyora.
Michael was hoping that there might even be “proper governmental attention given to what happens after a track or trail is opened, [addressing] the ongoing years of management and maintenance which so far has too much been the burden of volunteers from local communities.”
Have our politicians recognised the passion and dedication of volunteers? What WILL cause them to note and ACT to meet the needs of the substantial community/small business efforts that frequently drive sensitive, sustainable development in regional areas? Or will they continue to pay lip service and make token, non-strategic grants to random projects?