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The information below was provided by Complete Our Rail Trail (CORT).

"Bridge the Gap" was the resounding message protesters delivered to the Minister for Conservation & Environment Sherryl Garbutt and the Mount Lilydale College.

The rally was attended by more than 300 people protesting Ms Garbutt’s decision to halt development of the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail at Maroondah Highway. The government has endorsed the land zoning for public open space – parkland recreation.

"Bridge the Gap" was the resounding message protesters delivered to the Minister for Conservation & Environment Sherryl Garbutt and the Mount Lilydale College.

The rally was attended by more than 300 people protesting Ms Garbutt’s decision to halt development of the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail at Maroondah Highway. The government has endorsed the land zoning for public open space – parkland recreation.

"The rally overwhelming called on the school to "bridge the gap" in the community and work together for a resolution. There was a resounding demand for the government to support the council’s bid to build the bridge over Maroondah Highway bridging the gap between the popular recreation trail and Lilydale Station," Mr Francis said.

The protesters streamed up Maroondah Highway from Lilydale Station to Queen Rd under Police escort on Sunday morning to highlight the dangers recreational tourists faced coming to the valley without the completion of the trail’s last 2km from Lilydale Station to Maroondah Highway.

Yarra Ranges Council has set aside $150,000 towards the pedestrian and cycling bridge across Maroondah Highway at the rail trail.

Bicycle Victoria’s Richard Smithers told the rally the rail trail was generating significant economic benefits to the Yarra Valley townships along its current 38km length and the final link to Lilydale Station offered huge potential for the station precinct to become a tourist hub with cafes and shops serving the increasing numbers of cyclists and walkers wanting to use the MET system to walk or cycle through the valley.

Mr Francis called on Ms Garbutt to urgently convene a meeting of the school principal and a representative of the Committee of Management to start working towards a workable solution.

"The fears held by the school principal can be addressed if the parties get together and talk about their needs and search together for solutions," Mr Francis said.

"We believe there is a win-win solution there and it would be extremely sad if the government perpetuated this rift in the community by failing to broker a solution."