Local MP Darren Chester says Omeo is on the cusp of becoming a must-visit destination for mountain bike enthusiasts.
Speaking at the opening of the Omeo Pump and Skills Track at Livingstone Park, Mr Chester said the high country town had positioned itself perfectly to become a year-round destination for adventure seekers.
“Omeo is the gateway to the snowfields in winter and is popular with people wanting to enjoy our alpine region at other times of the year,” Mr Chester said.
“The development of more than 100 kilometres of mountain bike trails on the town’s doorstep provides a unique opportunity for Omeo to broaden its appeal to a new visitor market, including more international and interstate visitors.
“Of course, more visitors means more people to support existing local businesses and local jobs. There will also be opportunities to create new long-term sustainable jobs directly linked to the mountain bike trails.”
The Omeo Pump and Skills Track is the first completed component of the $4.5 million Omeo Mountain Bike Destination Project. The track’s design is based around the word ‘Omeo’.
Work is underway on the detailed designs for more than 100 kilometres of trails, which include long descending trails, looping cross-country trails and trails for beginners.
Mr Chester said governments needed to work together to give people more reasons to visit Gippsland or holiday locally.
“We need further investment by all levels of government in quality infrastructure on public land like walking and bike trails, camping grounds, rest areas and other facilities to complement our natural features and grow our visitor economy,” Mr Chester said.
“We need to invest in those assets and build new infrastructure to encourage visitors to stay in our region longer and spend more money in our local businesses while they are here.”
The $4 million Omeo Mountain Bike Destination Project is funded by all three levels of government, with the East Gippsland Shire Council and the Federal Government contributing $1.5 million and the Victorian State Government contributing $1 million. East Gippsland Shire Council is delivering the project.