Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has secured funding to kick-off a project to establish an all abilities accessible boardwalk in the heart of Lakes Entrance as part of his $280,000 Active Gippsland initiative.
Mr Chester has secured $50,000 for the first stage of assessing the environmental, technical and engineering requirements for the circuit which would link the Main Beach with Eastern Beach on a lakeside boardwalk.
“Encouraging Gippslanders to get more active, more often is a passion of mine,” Mr Chester said. “Investing in better facilities on public land is good for tourism and the liveability of our local communities.
“The working title for the proposed boardwalk is Tatungalung Circuit, after the clan which originally inhabited the Lakes Entrance area. The project promises to increase Indigenous understanding, support further tourism growth and give locals another reason to get out and stay active.
“There’s more preliminary work to be done, including consultation with land managers, neighbouring property owners and the community, but I believe this walking circuit has great potential to benefit Lakes Entrance by providing a new way to enjoy this part of the Gippsland Lakes system.
“Further investment in infrastructure like shared pathways, exercise tracks and bike trails in Lakes Entrance will complement natural attractions and boost local jobs.
“Coming on top of the $1.5 million to develop an iconic lookout at Jemmys Point and associated upgrades, these projects will give businesses the confidence to invest in the town’s future.”
The Active Gippsland funding package comprises:
· $50,000 for the first stage of an all-abilities accessible boardwalk along Cunninghame Arm, Lakes Entrance;
· $100,000 to reseal East Gippsland Rail Trail between Bairnsdale and Nicholson;
· $100,000 for outdoor fitness equipment along Loch Sport’s foreshore; and
· $30,000 to replace two bridges at Traralgon Railway Reservoir Conservation Reserve.
Mr Chester said the funding was also an investment in the economic health of Gippsland’s towns and communities.
“It will increase the number of visitors to our towns and the length of their stay, which in turn supports local businesses,” Mr Chester said.
The Active Gippsland funding package is among a number of significant Federal Government investments secured by Mr Chester and designed to boost the visitor economy and outdoor activity.
Other projects include a viewing platform at Jemmys Point ($750,000), the Metung boardwalk ($300,000), the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail upgrade ($267,000), mountain bike trails at Omeo ($1.5 million), the Traralgon-Morwell shared pathway ($1.6 million), and the Haunted Hills Bike Park ($976,500).