Goulburn River High Country Rail Trail to help revitalise 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
August 4 2009
Anthony Albanese, Minister for Infrastructure, Regional Development and Local Government, was in Tallarook today to inspect plans for the $14.2 million Goulburn River High Country Rail Trail.
Mr Albanese also announced that the Rudd Labor Government had officially signed the contract to deliver $13.2 million towards to the 134-kilometre trail.
Joining the Minister today were Councillors from Mansfield, Mitchell and Murrindindi councils. They are partners with the Rudd Labor Government in delivering the project.
Mr Albanese said that this project was a perfect example of the Rudd Government investing in jobs in regional economies and delivering the infrastructure that local communities need to secure their future.
“The Rail Trail was identified as a priority by the local communities after the devastating February bushfires and is part of the Rudd Government’s plan to support bushfire-affected communities and revitalise their infrastructure and services.
“During the construction phase, the project will support jobs and stimulate employment in local businesses and suppliers.
“Once complete, the Trail will encourage visitors to return to some of regional Victoria’s premier tourist destinations and generate ongoing economic benefits.
“Importantly, the 134-kilometre trail corridor will provide improved access for emergency vehicles and maintenance services.
“The Trail will follow disused rail lines winding through the region and will be ideal recreational walkers, cyclists, and horse riders.”
The Rail Trail project will connect Mansfield to Tallarook and the Goulburn Valley and Hume Freeway corridor, linking the communities of Trawool, Kerrisdale, Homewood, Yea, Molesworth, Cathkin, Alexandra, Koriella, Kanumbra, Merton, Woodfield, Bonnie Doon, Maindample and Mansfield.
It will involve:
- construction of 39 bridges and repairs to 29 bridges;
- construction of seven car parks and installation of amenities;
- construction of 17 rest stops; and
- installation of eight water tanks.
Mr Albanese said, “I congratulate the local community and local councils on this project and encourage them to work quickly to get construction underway.
“Federal funding of $13.2 million for this project is from the $1 billion Community Infrastructure Program, which is part of our Economic Stimulus Plan.
“To date, the Rudd Government’s Economic Stimulus Plan has invested record funding of more than $146 million into 323 infrastructure projects in the electorate of McEwen including roads, community facilities, schools and housing.
“Nearly 70 per cent of the stimulus package is infrastructure, with construction projects already underway,” Mr Albanese concluded.
For more detail on the Economic Stimulus Plan and other projects in the High Country region visit www.australia.gov.au/economicstimulus