The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester is supporting a local campaign to restore the Orbost-Snowy Floodplain Railway Bridge.
Mr Chester said the century-old trestle bridge could become a feature of the East Gippsland Rail Trail and improve road safety.
“The 770-metre railway bridge was built more than 100 years ago, but has fallen into disrepair,” Mr Chester said.
“Given its high-profile location beside the Princes Highway, the bridge has been an East Gippsland landmark for decades.
“Fixing the bridge would encourage travellers to stop and take a break which would also have some road safety benefits.
“The Orbost-Snowy Floodplain Railway Bridge could become the eastern gateway for cyclists and walkers to the 100km trail between Orbost and Bairnsdale.
“Gippsland relies heavily on the tourism industry and additional regional attractions, such as an enhanced rail trail, would encourage more visitors to Orbost and give the town a welcome boost.
“More people would be encouraged to visit come to enjoy Orbost and Marlo and get a better appreciation of its unique history.”
The bridge is on the National Trust of Australia’s heritage register for its historical and cultural significance to Victoria. It is the state’s longest timber railway bridge that is still standing.
A working party from Friends of East Gippsland Rail Trail and the Orbost and District Historical Society has been working to raise awareness of the importance of restoring the bridge.