The old lookout at Kalimna has been demolished to make way for a new modern, fully-accessibly viewing platform.
Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester stopped by the Hotel Road site adjacent to the Princes Highway this week after heavy machinery began tearing down the aging structure.
There was little remaining of the lookout, apart from a line of its familiar blue bollards.
“There will be many people who will be pleased to see on-site work is underway on this project,” Mr Chester said.
“We have already improved parking and signage at the current lookout and soon we will have a lookout that will entice visitors to stop and take in the million dollar view.
“Now, more than ever, our local tourism industry needs a boost and this new lookout will give many people another reason to come back to East Gippsland very soon.”
The new accessible viewing platform will be made of timber and provide a 270-degree view of the Gippsland Lakes, the Ninety Mile Beach and the ocean.
Work at the site was delayed until after the end of the summer holidays, reducing inconvenience to visitors, and is expected to take around eight weeks.
The $1.5 million project comprises work at two viewing sites 400 metres apart: one at Hotel Road and the other at Lookout Road, Jemmy’s Point. East Gippsland Shire Council is managing the project.
Design work on the second all-abilities accessible pedestrian viewing platform at the Lookout Road site is getting underway now.
“When the project is finished, we will have two viewing platforms and associated facilities that will showcase the natural beauty of this area and encourage more people to stop and spend more time – and money – in our part of the world,” Mr Chester said.
“Many businesses not directly impacted by the bushfires in East Gippsland have been badly affected by the huge decline in visitor numbers at what is normally the busiest time of year.
“All levels of government need to work together to maximise local job opportunities, cut red tape and deliver the recovery and new infrastructure we need – and that includes tourist facilities like these viewing platforms.”
The project is funded with equal contributions from the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund and East Gippsland Shire Council.