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The following question was asked in Victorian Parliament recently.

QUESTION 405.

The Hon. M.A. Birrell - To ask the Honourable the Minister for Energy and Resources (for the Honourable the Minister for Environment and Conservation):

  1. What recurrent funding will be allocated in 2000-01 and 2000-02 respectively, for rail trails in Victoria.
  2. What capital funding will be allocated in 2001-2002 for rail trail projects in Victoria, listing each trail that will be funded and the amount to be provided.
  3. How will the Government promote the use of rail trails.

ANSWER:

The Honourable C Broad MLC, Minister for Energy and Resources (for the Honourable the Minister for Environment and Conservation) - I am informed that:

  1. Recurrent funding for rail trails has not been provided for in the Department's 2000-01 budget. However, the development needs of rail trails are currently being assessed as part of preliminary work associated with the next budget cycle.
  2. The Government has allocated $975,000 to the development of rail trails. Allocations for captial development projects are as follows:
    Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail
    $425,000 (funded through the Community Support Fund). This funding will enable completion of the full 93 kilometres of the Rail Trail between Bowser (near Wangaratta) to Beechworth and to Bright. When completed, this Rail Trail will be the premier rail trail in Australia. It is anticipated that it will play a significant regional role as well as catering for local recreational needs.
    East Gippsland Rail Trail
    $550,000 (to be funded over three years as part of the package associated with the recently concluded Regional Forest Agreements). This funding will enable extension of the Rail Trail a further 30 kilometres to Nowa Nowa and also linkage of the Trail with the Gippsland coast at Lakes Entrance via the Colquhoun Forest. It will provide for the reconstruction of several bridges as well as surfacing, signing and conservation works.
  3. The Government promote Rail Trails through the following sources:
    • Victoria's Rail Trails - brochure published by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (ISBN 07311 4470 8);
    • www.nre.vic.gov.au/recreatn/railtrails [new address] - web page on the Department of Natural Resources and Environment's web site; and
    • Periodic articles in national, statewide and regional newspapers and journals.

Sherryl Garbutt MP
Minister for Environment and Conservation