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Media release


The Hon Peter Ryan MP
Deputy Premier
Minister for State Development
Minister for Regional and Rural Development
Friday 25 October 2013


Regional Growth Fund delivers $600,000 rail trail boost

Gippsland's reputation as an attractive tourist destination will be enhanced with the Victorian Coalition Government to provide $600,000 towards the completion of the final section of the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail, funded through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan today joined Member for Morwell Russell Northe in Glengarry to announce the funding allocation for the 7.1 km Traralgon to Glengarry section of the rail trail.

"The 7.1 km section of trail between Traralgon and Glengarry is the final leg of the 65 km Gippsland Plains Rail Trail, which stretches from Traralgon to Stratford and passes through communities such as Toongabbie, Cowwarr, Tinamba, Heyfield and Maffra," Mr Ryan said.

"The Coalition Government's funding will be used to construct a 2.5 metre wide shared gravel pathway linking Traralgon with Glengarry.

"The funding will also be used to upgrade culverts, repair an embankment, reinstate four bridges and eradicate and prevent the recurrence of termites in the timber bridges.

"The project is also expected to create 27 new jobs, including 15 jobs during the project's construction phase and a further 12 ongoing indirect jobs."

Mr Northe welcomed the $600,000 Coalition Government contribution and said once completed the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail would deliver significant economic and social benefits to the region and greatly enhance Gippsland as an attractive tourist destination.

"The Gippsland Plains Rail Trail traverses undulating dairy country, boasts views of the Great Dividing Range and provides numerous opportunities for cyclists, runners and walkers to stop for a rest and a snack and explore the magnificence of the region," Mr Northe said.

"The project complements a suite of nature-based activities in Gippsland, adding value to attractions such as Wilsons Promontory, the Gippsland Lakes District and the existing trails, including the Great Southern Rail Trail, Gippsland Lakes Discovery Trail and the Grand Strzelecki Track.

"It is estimated that visitors to the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail will contribute more than $3 million to the local economy each year.

"The trail will also provide an alternate transport network between the towns along the route, building community health and wellbeing."

Mr Ryan said today's announcement continued the Coalition Government's strong support for the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail.

"In October 2012, the Coalition Government provided $200,000 to complete a 14 km section of the trail from Glengarry to Cowwarr, and in May this year we announced a further $100,000 to complete the section of trail between Tinamba, Heyfield and Cowwarr," Mr Ryan said.

"Providing funding support to complete the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail was an important 2010 election commitment and one the Coalition Government is proud to have delivered.

"This project is another example of the Coalition Government, through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, delivering important community-led local initiatives."

Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731

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