“A New Future” for Mary Valley Rattler

Gympie Regional Council will cede control of the Mary Valley Rattler Estate to the Rattler Railway Company.

They have reached an agreement, which has yet to receive the official green light from the council and the state government.

The deal will see the Council’s Rattler assets, other than the locomotive and some land, given to the company.

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It will also wipe out the Rattler’s $900,000 debt, to help the tourism icon thrive after a tough few years of bushfires, Covid and floods.

Mayor Glen Hartwig says they paid $450,000 a year to operate and maintain the Rattler, but $50,000 of that would then go to the Council to pay off its loan.

“The loan, the repayment structure; it was messy, not a good idea to start with. This imposed financial hurdles on the Rattler that could potentially hamper its ability to remain viable in the future.

Mayor Hartwig says a lot of money has gone into the Rattler and both sides want the best for the local icon.

“We both think the tentative agreement we have is the best way forward.”

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“It rearranges a lot of gray areas around asset leasing and liability, but also gives some certainty to ratepayers, who are ultimately the main player and investor.”

Under the agreement, the Council would continue to fund the company at $400,000 per year for four more years as the Rattler rebuilds its tourist markets.

Mary Valley Rattler general manager Linda Barry says the deal will allow the tourism icon to establish itself as a sustainable business.

“As the Gympie area’s best-known tourist asset that helps visitors experience the wider Gympie/Mary Valley area, the Council’s support for the Rattler is, in effect, an investment in the economic development of the area. says Ms. Barry.

“We have worked closely with the Council to put in place a sustainable plan to ensure the continued operation of the Rattler as it benefits many other operators in the Gympie area.

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“The legacy of the Mary Valley Rattler is important to the community, and as a volunteer-driven organization, we believe there is good reason to continue supporting the Rattler as it returns to commercial terms. more normal in the next few years.”

Half price tickets for residents of the Gympie area

To celebrate the Rattler’s ‘new future’, the Rattler Railway Company is offering residents of the Gympie area a 50% discount on tickets (excluding upgrades, food and extras) for the Classic Rattler Run Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The offer is valid until 30 November 2022 and can be booked at www.maryvalleyrattler.com.au using promo code LOCAL2022.

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