SDSR is a great Association, made up of great people dedicated to the dream of bringing train travel and particularly Steam Train Travel to the people of the Southern Downs and those who visit our unique area.
Thousand of hours of selfless volunteer dedication has gone into the development of a precinct which is world class and the restoration of a steam locomotive.
Railway enthusiasts including former rail employees from yesteryear all work hard to make this dream a reality.
The long and arduous road to date has been presented with many interesting challenges, including gaining third party access accreditation and negotiating through various government funding streams, as well as the lease of a rail motor from the State Government.
My family and I were privileged to be guests of the association during a recent stream train trip to the Granite Belt. The organisation of the trip and the friendliness of the association not only struck me but also those people who travelled so far from places such as Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
For my family and myself who have never had the chance to experience something like this together, it will provide lifelong memories and a fervent hope that this opportunity can become a regular occasion.
The tourism opportunities will benefit the area enormously, capitalising on the areas unique geography and tourist destinations.
Rail lines such as the Warwick to Wallangarra and the Allora to Hendon
line will have a chance to come to life again.
I gain a great privilege indeed, from the opportunity to be Patron of this great Association.
I know, with the ongoing commitment of SDSR's dedicated members that their future will be bright and successful.