Apr 28, 2009

$13.2 million for tourism trail to link Victorian bushfire-affected communities

$13.2 million for tourism trail to link Victorian bushfire-affected communities


The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

April 28 2009

Anthony Albanese, Minister for Infrastructure and Local Government, today announced that the Rudd Labor Government would offer up to $13.2 million to help complete a 134-kilometre trail across Victoria’s bushfire-affected communities.

The Government is contributing the lion’s share of this $14.2 million project.

Once completed, the trail is expected to be used by recreational walkers, cyclists, horse rider as well as provide emergency and maintenance vehicles.

The ‘Goulburn River High Country Rail Trail’ has been put forward by Murrindindi, Mitchell and Mansfield Shire Councils.

Federal funding will contribute to the project including the following components:

  • Bridge and culvert repair and construction works;
  • Road crossings; and
  • Car park, rest stop and amenities construction.

During my meeting with Murrindindi and Mitchell Shires in 19 February 2009, they advised me that this project was about supporting local economies through tourism and building community spirit after the devastating bushfires.

It will stretch across disused rail lines through the communities of Trawool, Kerrisdale, Homewood, Yea, Molesworth, Cathkin, Alexandra, Koriella, Kanumbra, Merton, Woodfield, Bonnie Doon, Maindample and Mansfield.

Funding for this project is from the Government’s $800 million Community Infrastructure Program – the largest one-off investment in Australia’s history.

It is part of the Government’s plan to help disaster-affected regional economies recover and withstand the effects of the global economic recession.

This funding builds on $1.7 million already allocated to the three councils for smaller-scale local community projects.

The Rudd Labor Government is working in partnership with local government to fund more than 3,000 community projects across Australia that will support jobs, stimulate local economies and deliver long-term benefits for the quality of life in communities.