Friday, 26 October 2018

The Andrews Labor Government is backing regions hit hard by drought by investing in the planning and infrastructure needed to keep local economies growing.

Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford today announced a $1 million grant from Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund for East Gippsland Shire Council to develop a business case and construct the first stage of a new, excellent $4 million mountain bike trail in Omeo.

The business case will provide a justification that the investment in mountain biking infrastructure at Omeo will generate an economic return for the region. It will also include an assessment of statutory approvals, trail governance and maintenance responsibilities, project implementation and industry activation.

The proposed 112-kilometre trail aims to establish Omeo as an international mountain bike destination and attract more visitors to the region – boosting tourism and diversifying the Omeo economy.

The trail would also feature a dedicated bike skills park, cycle and bike wash facilities, toilet and shower amenities, trailhead and signage.

East Gippsland Shire will work with the Department of Environment, Land, Water, Planning, and Parks Victoria to deliver the business case and the infrastructure works.

East Gippsland Shire have allocated $1,520,000 towards the project and the Federal Government have dedicated a further $1,500,000 through the Building Better Regions Fund.

The Labor Government’s Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund invests in growing the visitor economy across regional Victoria by facilitating the development of iconic regional tourism projects that create excellent tourism experiences and boost the regional economy.

In another win for Omeo, Minister Pulford also announced a further $50,000 to East Gippsland Shire to begin a capacity building project that will help the Omeo community maximise economic opportunities and manage the delivery of significant projects that are in the pipeline.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford

“We want the Omeo Mountain Bike Trail to be a reality and return significant economic return to the region well into the future – and this business case will identify all the avenues that we can maximise the trail’s full potential.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren

“Regional Victoria has a bright future and that’s why we’re supporting the creation of new tourism destinations by building the critical infrastructure, encouraging private sector investment and supporting the sustainable management of the state’s iconic natural assets.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region Harriet Shing

It’s been a labour of love to advocate alongside the Omeo community and the East Gippsland Shire Council for this important funding over the last year, and this funding means that more people can discover and enjoy this extraordinary part of Gippsland and that local jobs and visitor numbers will grow as a result.”