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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Ida Bay Railway project commended -

Ida Bay Railway project commended - Scott Gadd, Secretary - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

The nation?s last original bush tramway reopened for business today in Tasmania?s far south.

The Ida Bay Railway, which originally hauled limestone and later operated as a tourist railway, has been reborn after an intensive restoration program by Meg Thornton and a dedicated team of supporters.

Opening the attraction today, Department of Tourism, Parks, Heritage and the Arts Secretary Scott Gadd commended Ms Thornton for her dedication to and investment in the project.

He said the railway had the potential to be a highlight of the diverse suite of tourist attractions in the Huon Valley and far south.

?This project comes at a time of significant tourism development and investment in the region,? Mr Gadd said.

?This includes Forestry Tasmania?s successful Airwalk, ongoing trackwork and the building of a new visitor shelter by the Parks and Wildlife Service in the Hartz Mountains National Park, improvements at the Hastings thermal pool and the major tourism accommodation and visitor centre development at Cockle Creek.

?The Tasmanian Heritage Council believes the railway is the last original bush tram in Australia.

?The council has also noted the outer terminus is the southernmost railway station in the country.

?It is hoped the Ida Bay Railway eventually becomes a ?must see and do? attraction.?

This initiative is part of the State Government?s commitment to progressing Tasmania Together Goal 21 ? Value, protect and conserve our natural and cultural heritage.


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