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Guide Banner 4 2015

In May the Victorian state government has announced that the popular Murray to Mountains Rail Trail in north east Victoria will soon be extending a further 21km from Beechworth to Yackandandah. V41 561 2008 02 Beechworth Railway station web

The $6million funding announcement also includes allowance for an on-road connection further east to Osbornes Flat, which could be part of a future on-road link to the High Country Rail Trail at Huon.

Indigo Council Mayor Jenny O’Connor said it was the biggest single funding contribution of its kind for the region yet, and council would immediately look at when works could begin.

The Victorian government also announced another $6 million for promotion of trails including to international markets and track enhancement.

The funding will be particularly welcome in the region as several major industries announced job losses around the same time.

Labor Upper House Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, announced the funding in Beechworth.  Ms Symes said she had worked very closely with Tourism North East, local councils and the Minister for Regional
Development, Jaala Pulford to secure the funding in this year’s budget. “This is a massive win for tourism, business growth and employment opportunities for communities in the North East,” Ms Symes said.

The funding plan includes:

  • Extending the Murray to Mountains trail from Beechworth to Yackandandah
  • Trail enhancements such as better signage, community hubs, and digital interpretations
  • Wow-factor art projects and tourist attractions to entice people to visit things only discoverable by the trail
  • A comprehensive branding and marketing campaign to increase awareness
  • A cycle hub to cater for all cyclist needs
  • Support private sector activation in and around the trail and surrounding towns

Rail Trails Australia is particularly pleased that the funding includes initiatives to activate business along the trail so that the local economies benefits from the growing number of visitors to the trail network. This is also needed on many other rail trails that have potential to provide greater benefits to their regions.

More about this in the next issue of Rail Trail Connections and details of how the rail trail will be constructed to Yackandandah, given some sections of the former corridor have been sold off.

Full details and map of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail here.