Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester expects the Australian Government will soon make a decision on whether to fund the construction of a new viewing platform at Jemmy’s Point near Lakes Entrance.
Mr Chester has been lobbying his government colleagues to secure the money needed to build a world-class $1.5 million viewing platform to take in the priceless view of the town, the Gippsland Lakes and the ocean entrance to the inland lakes system.
Mr Chester said he had been pursuing two funding avenues and was hopeful a positive decision would be made soon.
“Jemmy’s Point is on the to-do list of travellers who come to Gippsland. The view is world-class, but unfortunately the viewing area is out-dated and tired,” Mr Chester said.
“A new viewing platform would be fitting for the million-dollar view and help us to encourage visitors to stay for longer and enjoy more of what Gippsland has to offer.
“Jemmy’s Point is listed by travel guides as a prime local attraction. While the view does not disappoint, the current state of the lookout doesn’t live up to everyone’s expectations.”
Mr Chester said East Gippsland Shire had submitted a funding application to the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, while he was trying to secure surplus funds from the current highway upgrades for the project.
“There are clear road safety benefits in encouraging motorists to stop and take a break from driving,” Mr Chester said.
“An upgraded viewing platform is an important way that we can better showcase our pristine natural environment and use better infrastructure on public land to support the visitor economy.
“Projects like viewing platforms, walking and bike trails, interpretive signage, picnic facilities and toilets all add to the liveability of our region and encourage visitors to stay longer and support local businesses, which in turn create jobs for local people.
Mr Chester has already successfully campaigned for $1.5 million from the Federal Government to help fund 81 kilometres of mountain bike trails at Omeo. Commonwealth money has also been spent on extending the boardwalk by Bancroft Bay at Metung.
Mr Chester also secured $25 million in Commonwealth funding for safety upgrades along the Princes Highway, including road modifications designed to help pedestrians trying to cross the Esplanade at Lakes Entrance.