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October 17, 2012

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has welcomed funding to upgrade the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail between Glengarry and Cowwarr.

$200,000 has been provided by the Victorian Coalition Government to complete around 14 kilometres of a shared-use section of the trail between the two towns. Overall, the Victorian Coalition Government has committed $800,000 to the project.

Mr Chester said the funding is a significant boost for the local tourism asset.

He also commended the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail committee for its hard work in securing the funds.

“The Gippsland Plains Rail Trail has the potential to be a major tourism drawcard in our region,” Mr Chester said.

“It is the only rail trail in the State that has an operating railway station at each end and when complete cyclists will be able to catch a train from Melbourne to their preferred starting point at Traralgon or Stratford and ride the trail before making a return trip by train.

“A completed rail trail would provide significant social and economic spin-off benefits for towns along the route as a result of increased visitor numbers.

“The committee is to be commended for its hard work over a number of years to secure the funds and I welcome the State Government’s investment in the project.”

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

The Gippsland Plains Rail Trail committee has advised that there will be disruptions to the users of the trail and has sought the community’s patience and understanding as the project will result in positive outcomes for the communities involved.

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