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Media Release: Wednesday 17 October 2012

$200,000 FOR GIPPSLAND PLAINS RAIL TRAIL – STAGE 1

Member for Morwell Russell Northe today announced Coalition Government funding of $200,000 for the upgrade and enhancement of the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail (GPRT) – stage 1.

Mr Northe said the funding formed part of an overall $800,000 2010 election commitment to the GPRT.

The $200,000 funding will complete approximately 14 kilometres of a shared-use section of the trail from Glengarry to Cowwarr.

“The 67-kilometre GPRT stretches from Traralgon to Stratford,” Mr Northe said. “The trail passes through dairy country, and offers sweeping views of the Great Dividing Range to the north.”

“The section from Glengarry to Cowwarr via Toongabbie has two creek crossings that can be walked through, and the trail reserve has significant remnant stands of native trees, shrubs and grasses.

“This funding will upgrade the existing trail with gravel, installing safe road crossings and constructing a crossing over Eagle Hawk Creek”, Mr Northe said.

Mr Northe said the Glengarry to Cowwarr section of the GPRT would improve connectivity for local communities and become a significant tourism attraction for the region.

The 14km upgrade was pivotal to the opening of the long awaited Glengarry to Traralgon section of the GPRT.

Chairperson of the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail committee Helen Hoppner said the upgrade was a great victory for the community who looked forward to the flow on effect of tourism, economic and environmental benefits.

During the works there will be disruptions to the users of the trail and the committee seeks the community’s patience and understanding as the end result will be a great outcome for the community.

“The trail will give local residents and visitors the chance to experience the varied landscapes of the Latrobe Valley and Wellington Shire and take in the many tourism and recreational assets along the way,” Mr Northe said.

“Completing this section of the trail will deliver economic benefits to the region through additional tourism opportunities and allow access the Glengarry, Toongabbie and Cowwarr by alternative and recreational transport.”

Work on the Glengarry to Cowwarr section of the GPRT is expected to be completed in April 2013.

Media contact: Russell Northe 5133 9088.

For more information about the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail see the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail Description.