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Draft letter to ....... Brisbane City Council 
[originally to Councillor Margaret de Witt, Pullenvale Ward Office
whose favourable comments have already been received]

Brisbane West Trail

I should like to draw your attention to an opportunity that may be available for the City Council to create a major recreational and environmental asset for a quite modest investment.

A draft proposal, for a 13 km Brisbane West Trail for walking / running and bicycling (and perhaps horse riding in the vicinity of Brookfield) will be outlined. It would involve the interconnection of a large number of existing parks along Moggill, Gap, Cubberla and Witton Creeks, with the circuit being closed on the north by the abutting Brisbane Forest and Mt Cootha Parks and by parks along an out-dated road reserve to the south.

A sketch plan illustrating the layout of a possible Trail is attached, together with a table which identifies features at particular points, and also indicates the existing status of the proposed Trail between those features.

Various practical aspects of the draft proposal are outlined in an Attachment. This deals with: the proposal's feasibility and expected modest costs; protecting environmental assets; high likely usage; recreational facilities; interconnections with bikeways and other local parks; transport system implications; and cost and revenue issues.

Benefits of the proposed Trail would include:

I would appreciate advice about the best way to proceed with developing a firmer proposal.

Yours faithfully

John Craig


Attachment: A Preliminary Review of Practical Issues

This Attachment deals with practical aspects of the draft Brisbane West Trail proposal.


All of the proposed Trail is open space - and less than (say) 1/3 of it would require any attention for a rudimentary Trail to be completed. Based on a preliminary site scan, it appeared that none of the sections where initial work would be required should involve high costs. Small links in the proposed Trail may be private property (being used currently as horse paddocks) and this might require arranging a public right-of-way - or minor deviations.

A particular route has been nominated for the Trail, though it is noted that parks along Cupperla Creek and McKay Brook would be alternative - or second stage - options.

Environmental management

Both Moggill and Cubberla-Witton Creeks have considerable environmental value - which is reflected in the establishment of Management Groups. Thus considerable care would need to be taken in interconnection of parks along these catchments - eg using techniques such as those appropriate to sensitive rainforest in the upper Witton Creek area.


Usage of the proposed Trail should be quite high - because of:

Recreational Facilities

Recreational facilities are already established along the Trail (eg playgrounds, coffee shops, BBQs, playing fields) and more could be both commercially and publicly viable if the Trail were completed. The Brookfield Pony Club is located close to the western end of the Trail.


At various points, offshoots have already been developed (eg in Cupperla Creek Reserve, Kingfisher Park and Rafting Ground Park). Elsewhere local creeks seem to have been developed as parks / walking trails. Thus further interconnection to the Trail might be undertaken at local initiative. Also, as noted above, the Trail connects to a major (underused) bikeway on the Centenary Highway - and could act as a feeder or destination for it.

Transport System Implications  [See also detailed comment on Transport System implications]

The southern connection on the proposed Trail runs along a road reserve which was intended many years ago as a sub-arterial feeder to concentrate Moggill Rd traffic onto the Centenary Highway. However this proposal appears to have passed its 'use-by' date as a solution to traffic problems in the Western suburbs because:

Furthermore, it is widely accepted that the overall framework for transport planning in Brisbane is an utter mess - and that, until this is resolved, investments in the system are not likely to prevent the growing gridlock from just getting worse. Thus a situation is certain to arise in which options for solving traffic problems in the Western suburbs can be re-evaluated on modern principles and with consideration of alternative uses for public assets


Costs of developing the Trail have not been estimated, as more than a cursory site scan would be required to do so. Elements to be costed would include:

Additional commercial and public recreational facilities would need to be assessed and funded normally depending on the priorities their expected usage would command.


An estimated 5000 houses would be within a short walking distance of the proposed Trail. The amenity created by the Trail might be worth (say) an additional $10,000 on the ratable value of each such property - thus increasing BCC's rate base by (perhaps) $50m and its annual rate income by (say) $500,000. Such a direct return might justify an investment in a Brisbane West Trail of $5m - a figure which could be doubled if account is taken of the benefits to other Brisbane residents of a major regional recreational asset.

It is not expected that the initial cost of developing the proposed Trail would anything like as high as these figures.