Tuesday, 31st July, 2018

The Victorian Government has awarded a $15,000 Stronger Regional Communities Plan grant to the East Gippsland Shire Council to help prepare a business case for the 100-kilometre East Gippsland Rail Trail.

Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing, today announced the funding from the Stronger Regional Communities Plan, which supports community-led initiatives that build community capabilities or improve the liveability of regional and rural towns.

The project seeks to bring together the management stakeholders to determine a shared vision and develop an appropriate model for the East Gippsland Rail Trail’s long-term governance, funding and maintenance.

The East Gippsland Rail Trail is situated on public land owned by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and managed by a volunteer committee of management.

The business case will look at:

  • the current operations of the management and committee
  • options for ongoing management and resourcing
  • development and maintenance of infrastructure
  • the social, health and economic value and opportunities for the rail trail
  • education and training opportunities associated with the rail trail
  • opportunities for recognition and involvement of local Indigenous peoples.

As well as this grant, the project is supported by financial contributions from East Gippsland Shire Council, DELWP and the committee of management.

The Stronger Regional Communities Plan aims to support rural and regional towns to attract families and young people to live and work by investing in community-led projects that make regional Victoria a better place to live and work.

Community groups, not-for-profit organisations, individual businesses, and industry alliances are all eligible to apply for funding for projects that will create stronger communities.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford

The $15,000 grant from the Victorian Government will help fund a strategy for the 100-kilometre East Gippsland Rail Trail”

“The trail not only adds to the liveability of the region for locals, but it also helps support the visitor economy by attracting recreational cyclists to East Gippsland”

“The Victorian Government is building stronger regional communities and we are doing it hand in hand with locals.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing

“The East Gippsland Rail Trail has huge potential to deliver enormous health, environmental, educational and community benefit to locals and visitors to the region for years to come, and this grant will help to identify as many positive opportunities as possible for a vital resource.”