The attached document details the most recent management plan for the Bellarine Rail Trail.
The Bellarine Rail Trail is located on a Crown Land rail easement that extends from Newcomb to Queenscliff, via Drysdale. It is approximately 32.5 kilometres in length and was officially proclaimed in 1995.
With the exception of a few sites between Drysdale and Curlewis, most of the rail-lines have been removed from the rail reserve between Newcomb and Drysdale. The rail-line from Drysdale to Queenscliff has been retained and is presently managed by the Geelong Steam Preservation Society as a tourist train operation. City of Greater Geelong, through the Bellarine Rail Trail Advisory Committee*, is the manager of the Rail Trail along the entire length.
As a general rule, public reserves such as roadsides and railway easements have been less impacted by direct land clearance typical of the private lands they commonly intersect. They may support remnants of the original vegetation, and by virtue of their public land status often become the focus of community interest whether for conservation or recreational purposes, or a combination of both. The Bellarine Rail Trail is no exception with community interest being attached to its value as an educational, natural and passive recreation asset linking rural and urban nodes across the length of the peninsula.
Works to enhance its value as a community asset has principally centred on infrastructure improvements (signage, fencing & track formation), weed control and revegetation. In some cases these improvements have been consistent with a broad documented strategy, while others have tended to be undertaken on a more opportunistic or ad-hoc basis.
The intention of this plan is to (i) provide objectives and that will guide vegetation management of the Bellarine Rail Trail into the future and to (ii) provide a works budget (Appendix – table 6) that will assist City of Greater Geelong and community groups in coordinating and undertaking on-ground works.
* Membership of the Rail Trail Advisory Committee is listed in Appendix (Table 2)