Sep 21, 2012

King delivers $1 million to reconnect Avenue of Honour

Federal Labor will restore Ballarat’s Avenue of Honour to its former glory by reconnecting the Avenue with funding to install a level crossing and boom gates following a concerted campaign by the Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, together with Ballarat’s Avenue of Honour Committee.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese and Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King today announced up to $1 million in new funding to reconnect the Avenue to its full length.

Mr Albanese said he knows the 22-km Avenue of Honour consisting of 3,801 trees is an immensely significant living memorial to the men and women of Ballarat who served their country during the First World War.

“As a sign of their visual, social and historical importance, the Arch of Victory and the Avenue of Honour have both been heritage-listed by the Australian Heritage Commission and the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) and is included on the Victorian Heritage Register by Heritage Victoria,” Mr Albanese said.

“That is why the Gillard Government is committed to reconnecting the Ballarat Avenue of Honour and as a sign of our commitment to making your money work for you, we are funding this project through savings from our Nation Building Program.”

Ms King said the project would reconnect the Ballarat Avenue of Honour for the first time since it was separated at Burrumbeet by the Western Highway bypass in 1993.

“This project is very important because of how much it will mean to ex-servicemen and women, their relatives and the community,” Ms King said.

“This project will ensure the 26 trees between the bypass and the rail line become fully accessible and, importantly, will improve the connection to the northern section of the Avenue, giving visitors and relatives of ex-servicemen and women easier access to the 800 trees there.

“We anticipate that the project will be finished in 2015 – just in time for the 100th Anniversary of the ANZACs,” said Ms King.

“I am particularly delighted with this outcome as it complements the more than $500,000 the Government provided to restore the symbolic Arch of Victory at the beginning of the Avenue,” Ms King said.

The Federal Labor Government has committed up to $1 million towards the Ballarat Avenue of Honour Rail Crossing Reopening project from the Nation Building Program for Victoria.