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Tags: Barossa


  • By Light Electoral Office
  • Dec 29, 2020

“Will the Barossa Tourist Train Make a Comeback?” asks Tony Piccolo MP

The newly created Barossa Tourist Train Taskforce held a very successful inaugural meeting recently at the Tanunda Club.

Convened by Member for Light and Duty Member for Schubert, Tony Piccolo the meeting provided an opportunity for a range of local business and community leaders to learn more about the purpose and work of the taskforce.

The taskforce membership consists of key leaders in the areas of tourism, business and community in the Barossa Valley and Gawler region, who will inform and recommend policy options.

Some local community leaders agreed immediately to be part of the group including Barossa Council Mayor Michael (Bim) Lange and Gawler Mayor Karen Redman.

Other members include former long-serving Member for Schubert and soon to retire RDA Chair, Ivan Venning who has long been a strong advocate for the train’s return.

Former Chief Executive of the Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure Rod Hook, will represent Chateau Tanunda and bring expertise in major transport project management to the group. Mr Hook also sits on the board of Infrastructure Australia.

Executive Officer of the National Rail Museum, Bob Sampson OAM will bring more than forty years of experience in the rail sector to the taskforce. Over his long career, which commenced with SA Railways in 1972, he transferred to Australian National Railways where he worked in administrative and Freight Operations logistics roles. Later he was in senior management roles in Public & Corporate Relations, before joining Australian Rail Track Corporation in Corporate Property Management.

A range of other business leaders, including Mr Peter Joy, Chair of Barossa Grape and Wine Association have joined the taskforce, while others are consulting with their representative groups and governing boards to decide if they wish to take a formal part on the taskforce.

Mr Piccolo said the objective of the Barossa Tourist Train Taskforce will be to prepare a draft project brief that would be the basis of an independent inquiry into the viability of a Barossa Valley-focussed tourist train.The independent inquiry would be funded by an incoming State Labor Government.

“The project brief could outline one or more models of a possible tourist train service,” Mr Piccolo said.

“The independent inquiry would investigate a number of matters, including the range of benefits for the Barossa and Gawler region from a tourist train and management and future planning of the Barossa Rail Corridor, Kroemer’s Crossing, Altona Bridge and stations and sidings.”

“Other considerations that will be discussed include the train’s congruence with brand Barossa, impacts for local tourism planning and major events and the benefits and impacts on local businesses and other transport providers.”

The taskforce will undertake such engagement as it is necessary to inform itself that the project brief reflects the aspirations and needs of the wider Barossa community.

The Committee Secretariatwill be managed by the Light Electorate Office and it is anticipated that a further 4 meetings will be held during 2021 (February, April, June and September) ahead of preparation of a project brief which would then be submitted to an incoming Labor Government for funding and action.

Any local person or business wishing to make a submission to the taskforce should direct their enquiry to Tony Piccolo’s Office on 85 222878.

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