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Regional building blitz to create jobs, attract visitors

11/08/2021

The Victorian Government will build new trails, rejuvenate streetscapes and invest in new tourist attractions as part of a rural and regional construction blitz to create jobs, attract visitors and kickstart local economies.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula and Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes today announced more than $107 million to support locally-focused rural and regional infrastructure projects – part of the $2.7 billion Building Works package to create jobs and deliver infrastructure that matters to Victorians.

The investment will support the construction of 31 new shovel-ready projects, ensuring jobs are delivered as quickly as possible and supporting many communities that were already doing it tough as a result of drought and this summer’s bushfires.

The investment includes almost $16 million to improve visitor experiences along the iconic Great Ocean Road region, with $4.5 million towards a trail linking the Twelve Apostles at Port Campbell to Timboon, along with an $11.3 million upgrade to facilities, cultural experiences, lookouts and trails at the Tower Hill dormant volcano and wildlife haven.

Further south-west, residents and visitors to Portland and the surrounding community will benefit from $3 million in funding to support revitalisation of the Portland Foreshore, while another $1.5 million will support the development of an eco resort in Cape Bridgewater that includes redevelopment of the Foreshore.

The investment will reach all corners of the state and in between, with the central Victorian towns of Charlton, Donald, Birchip, Sea Lake and Wycheproof rejuvenated thanks to a $4 million investment.

Victoria’s mighty Murray River townships of Cohuna, Echuca, Mildura and Swan Hill will benefit from a total investment of $11 million, with projects ranging from worker accommodation to new visitor precincts.

In bushfire-affected regions, including the Gippsland Lakes, $1.1 million is being invested for a seawall and boardwalk as the first part of the broader Squatters Row revitalisation. In Victoria’s High Country, projects include a new commercial and recreational precinct at Mount Hotham, with $4.2 million to kickstart the first stage.

New mountain bike and cycling trails at Ararat Hills Regional Park and Macedon Ranges will deliver better visitor experiences to cycling enthusiasts, while $3.5 million will go towards the Ned Kelly Alive attraction at Glenrowan, delivering a new viewing tower, siege site experience and upgrades to amenities and surrounding areas.

A further $20 million investment in our Local Roads to Market program will see upgrades to key local roads that support Victoria’s agricultural supply chains so that our top-quality produce is safely delivered to market in good condition and on time.

Check out what local tourism and regional development projects are happening in your area:

Bringing outdoor adventure to Ararat

Ararat Hills moutain bike trailArarat is set to become regional Victoria’s newest adventure destination thanks to $2.7 million in funding to deliver 50km of new bike trails in the Ararat Hills Regional Park.

The bike trails will help create a significant tourist attraction and venue for competitive sport, and a facility that locals can use to get out and get active.

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Making a splash in Benalla

Welcome to Benalla signThe Benalla foreshore in the State’s north is set for a major makeover thanks to $2 million in funding from the Victorian Government. To include a new splash park, which is sure to be a winner in the summertime, the project will build on recent investments in the Benalla foreshore and will also feature an expanded visitor information centre and cinema.

In conjunction with the Benalla Rural City Council, the project will also include an extended foreshore boardwalk and provide new car parking to benefit locals and visitors alike.

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A new gathering space for visitors to Bendigo’s Botanic Gardens

Bendigo Town hallThe Bendigo community and its many visitors are set to benefit from $3.75 million in Victorian Government funding for the Bendigo Botanic Gardens.

The gardens were established in 1857 and remain a popular destination for locals and visitors. The new development will include a central precinct in the Bendigo Botanic Gardens between the Heritage Garden and the Garden for the Future.

The Central Hub will become the main meeting and gathering space for visitors to the Gardens. The $4.75 million project will also receive support from the City of Greater Bendigo.

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Bullock Island upgrade kicks off in Lakes Entrance

Fishing boats in East GippslandA favourite fishing and small sand crabbing spot and a good place to spot the odd seal or dolphin, Bullock Island is about to boost its appeal to locals and visitors even more with the announcement of a $1.875 million masterplan to upgrade parking, fishing platforms, public toilets, picnic facilities, shelters, a playground, kiosk and landscaping.

The project - which will complement the 2018 election commitment to construct the Bullock Island On-Water Café - will also be supported by East Gippsland Shire Council.

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Green light for the Buloke Town Revival

Park in BirchipThe Victorian Government is proudly supporting the Buloke Town Revival project in the State’s north-west which aims to rejuvenate and enhance the streetscapes and town entrances of Charlton, Donald, Birchip, Sea Lake and Wycheproof in the state’s west.

The Buloke community and visitors will benefit from $4 million in Victorian Government funding for projects to include civil works, landscaping, placemaking and art installations, with the aim of making each town an attractive and vibrant place for travellers to stop, and for residents to live.

The $4.4 million project will also receive support from Buloke Shire Council.

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Cape Bridgewater Foreshore

Cape Bridgewater coastlineThe Glenelg community and its visitors will benefit from funding of $1.5 million to support the redevelopment of the Cape Bridgewater Foreshore.

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Kinder, childcare and library win for Chiltern

Children playingA major refurbishment has been announced for the Chiltern Community Hub in Victoria’s far north.

A $2.5 million Victorian Government investment will enable a major makeover to the old municipal building in Chiltern to consolidate and activate a range of community-based services to be delivered at the hub, including kindergarten, childcare and local library services.

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Cohuna’s waterfront in the spotlight

Boat on the Murray RiverSouth of the Murray River between Kerang and Echuca, Cohuna is positioned in northern Victoria’s agricultural heartland.

But its pride and joy is arguably its tranquil waterfront - a common scene for picnics, fishing, boating and bushwalking - which is being slated for an upgrade.

The town will use $1.7 million in Victorian Government funding for the $3.4 million Cohuna CBD and Waterfront Development project, which will revitalise the CBD and forge stronger ties from the city centre to the waterfront along Gunbower Creek.

Gannawarra Shire Council will also be providing support for the project.

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Alpine getaway getting even better at Falls Creek

Chalet at Falls CreekNear Falls Creek ski resort in Victoria’s High Country is the peaceful township of Tawonga, the traditional homeland of the Dhudhuroa Indigenous people.

Positioned in the shadow of Victoria’s highest mountain, Mount Bogong, it has long been a drawcard for those seeking a slower pace of life as it’s dotted with walking and cycling tracks and offers trout fly fishing on the nearby Kiewa River.

Soon, even more visitors will be attracted to the region, thanks to a $2.1 million investment from the Victorian Government to re-open Tawonga Caravan Park, which was closed due to water management issues. The park will be connected to articulated sewage and facilities will be upgraded.

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Remembering Ned Kelly in Glenrowan

Ned Kelly exhibitionVictorian Government funding will help deliver a new tourism attraction for Glenrowan. $3.5 million in funding will help develop Ned Kelly Alive, showcasing man who symbolises a notion that strikes at the heart of what Australia is.

The attraction will include a viewing tower, siege site experience and upgrades to amenities and surrounding areas, helping bring an important piece of Australian history to regional Victoria.

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Community facilities set for new links in Heathcote, Goornong and Bendigo

Walking bridgeThe Communities of Heathcote, Goornong and Bendigo will benefit from $340,000 in Victorian Government funding towards the $750,000 Connections project.

The project will construct a series of shared paths and footpaths to provide linkages to key community facilities including schools and the Heathcote Hospital.

The paths will be constructed using environmentally friendly concrete designs to provide access for pedestrians and cyclists.

The project is also being supported by the City of Greater Bendigo.

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Boost for Kerang industrial estate

wetlands in KerangThe Victorian Government is partnering with the Gannawarra Shire Council to finalise the expansion of the Tate Drive Industrial Estate in Kerang.

With a $900,000 contribution from the Victorian Government towards an overall project cost of $1.3 million, the expansion will see a completion of the ninth and final stage of the development which will comprise civil services to the new subdivision including power, water, sewerage, roads and drainage for an additional 15 lots.

The estate currently employs 130 people and has generated approximately $12 million of local investment.

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Visitor centre for Lake Tyrrell

Buloke LakeThe highly reflective surface of 120,000-year-old Lake Tyrrell, about 80 clicks from Swan Hill, has developed into a tourist hot spot for those seeking the perfect photo of pristine landscape.

In great news for visitors, the venue is about to get a boost.

Travellers to Lake Tyrrell travelling through Sea Lake will benefit from funding of $300,000 to open a visitor centre within the Buloke Shire Council Office.

Once the Lake Tyrrell viewing platform is completed, this project will refurbish the existing shire office to make way for the visitor centre that will be staffed by volunteers.

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Showcasing the natural beauty of the Macedon Ranges

waterfallThe Macedon Ranges community and its many visitors will benefit from $8.75 million in funding to develop enjoyable and safe shared-use trail links, connecting major towns in the Macedon Ranges region.

The trail will enhance the vibrant and varied tourism offerings within Macedon and improve community health and social inclusion by providing a safe, shared and accessible trail for everyone to enjoy.

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Revitalising Maldon’s streetscape

streetscape in MaldonThe Maldon community will benefit from $4.5 million funding to revitalise the town’s streetscape.

The project will deliver a program to protect and enhance Maldon’s heritage features including undergrounding of electricity infrastructure and improvements to shopfronts. The project will be guided by the Maldon Town Centre Streetscape Plan and deliver improved public amenity and accessibility.

The $5.5 million project will also receive support from Mount Alexander Shire Council.

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Breaking through to Maryborough’s Energy Breakthrough

For 28-years, Maryborough has played host to the Maryborough Energy Breakthrough - an annual technology showcase, sustainable vehicle race and STEM educational event. The Victorian Government will invest $1.5 million into the event to improve the visitor experience and secure it for years to come.

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Mildura Riverfront Precinct work to continue

Mildura riverfront pathThe Mildura community in Victoria’s far north-west will be delighted to hear that work is scheduled to continue on their riverfront redevelopment.

Helping connect the river to the township, the next stage of work is centred at the Village Square and will include a café, landscaping, carparking and public amenities.

The Victorian Government is contributing $5 million to the $5.25 million project, with the Mildura Rural City Council also contributing to the project.

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Boost for Mildura’s seasonal worker accommodation

Fruit sorting and processingIn a major boost to the region’s housing shortage, Mildura’s Ramsay House has received $800,000 in Victorian Government support to redevelop the property to accommodate migrant and other workers in the region.

The project will be delivered by Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council and will help address the shortfall in housing for the township's seasonal working population.

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Luxurious and remote living in Mount Buffalo

view of Mount BuffaloMount Buffalo will feature a brand new natural escape thanks to $1.5 million from the Victorian Government.

Created out of a passion for all things natural, healthy and sustainable, Wilderness Eco Pods glamping will offer guests a luxurious and relaxing stay, perfectly complimenting the expression of interest process to attract a café operator at the Mt Buffalo Chalet.

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Funding new alpine getaway at Mount Hotham

Chairlift on the Mount Hotham ski fieldsThe Victorian Government is supporting Mount Hotham continue to be a premier sustainable, year-round destination for visitors and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

$4.2 million in funding will kick start the first stage of works to create a new commercial and recreational precinct at the Mt Hotham Resort. The project will see the development of the architecturally designed Alpine Gateway.

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Fitness boost for Ouyen

Woman and man runningThe Ouyen community in the State’s north-west is set to benefit from $43,000 of Victorian Government funding to complete the first stage of the Ouyen Community Gym project.  In a boost to local health, fitness and wellbeing, the project will restore the roof of the building that will become the Ouyen Community Gym.

The community-owned gym will be a multidiscipline health and fitness centre providing a holistic approach to health and wellbeing for the rural town of Ouyen.

Once the roof refurbishment is complete the community gym can open to the public, creating a revenue stream for the community to then complete remaining stages.

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Gas on its way to the Parwan Employment Precinct

construction of gas pipelineThe Victorian Government is investing $2.7 million to activate the $4.2 million Parwan Employment Precinct by providing a much-needed City Gas Gate.

Moorabool Shire Council, together with Westside Meats Pty Ltd, has committed the remaining $1.5 million toward the gas connection at the precinct.

The Parwan Employment Precinct features 2880 hectares, located between the Bacchus Marsh Aerodrome and the Western Water Treatment Plant and has enormous potential to create an innovative, export oriented hub for intensive agriculture and agribusinesses that will activate up to 1500 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs over six years.

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New walkway for Paynesville

Paynesville boardwalk

The Gippsland Lakes region and its visitors will benefit from a $1.1 million investment in a seawall and boardwalk as the first part of the broader Squatters Row revitalisation aimed at further enhancing the experience of this popular recreational waterway.

The region was heavily impacted by this summer’s bushfires and the investment in the boardwalk will help drive visitors back to this magical part of Victoria.

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Portland foreshore facelift

Portland wharfPortland, an Indian Ocean inlet about a four-hour drive from Melbourne known for its National Trust architecture, charter fishing, along with seal and whale watching experiences, is locked in for a facelift.

Home to Victoria’s only naturally deep-water port and one of Australia’s busiest regional ports, the area will benefit from $3 million funding to support the $4 million Portland Foreshore Development.

The Project will revitalise the entire length of the foreshore, sprucing up the water precinct while also improving connectivity and amenities for cruise ship passengers, land tourists and locals.

Economically, that’s good news for the surrounding region too, as Portland is an entry point to the Coonawarra Wine Region, the Grampians National Park and the World Heritage-listed Budj Bim Indigenous cultural site.

Glenelg Shire Council will also provide support for the project identified in the Portland Industry Land Strategy.

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Facelift for Pyramid Hill’s streetscape

Walking track in Pyramid HillThe rural town of Pyramid Hill in the state’s north-west is set for a facelift, with the Victorian Government announcing funding of $800,000 to revitalise the town’s streetscape.

The compact town has many community facilities within easy walking distance of the town centre. Residents and visitors will now benefit from works aimed at developing reliable pedestrian networks for all ages and abilities, connecting key public open spaces and delivering a range of subtle landscape interventions to frame the town’s many strengths.

The $1.02 million project will also receive support from Loddon Shire Council.

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Upgrading Victoria’s iconic ferry route between Sorrento and Queenscliff

Queenscliffe - Sorrento ferry off Sorrento PierSorrento’s popular ferry terminal which helps showcase the best of the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsula for visitors from around the world will receive major upgrades thanks to $5 million in Victorian Government funding.

The upgrades will complement the upgrades completed at the Queenscliff terminal, making this popular service and visitor experience amongst the best in the world.

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Seymour’s Trade Hub one step closer

Welcome to Seymour Seymour in the Goulburn Valley is well on its way to become a much stronger learning and economic centre following the Victorian Government allocation of $2.1 million to design and construct the Seymour Trade Hub.

Along with new classroom and training facilities, the project will include technology and equipment to support delivery of training including specialised carpentry facilities.

GoTAFE, Mitchell Shire’s main Victorian TAFE, has developed a proposal to establish a Trades Hub for the region, which would include practical building and construction related courses, including engineering. The proposed establishment would support the construction sector to meet the industry skill demand and increase the skilled labour pool required for Victoria’s infrastructure projects.

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Boom time for Swan Hill

Boardwalk on the Murray RiverSwan Hill in north-west Victoria is in the midst of a construction boom.

Funding support of $500,000 is being provided by the Victorian Government to support Swan Hill Rural City's rolling construction program, building much-needed worker accommodation in Robinvale.

The $1 million project will also receive support from Swan Hill Rural City Council.

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Showcasing the Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve

waterway in Tower HillVisitors to the Great Ocean Road and the broader community will benefit from a $11.3 million upgrade to visitor facilities, cultural experiences, lookouts and trails to the Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, a magnificent dormant volcano and wildlife haven on the Great Ocean Road.

This funding will allow Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve to upgrade its facilities and attractions, providing a unique eco-tourism experience to visitors and provide a link to this historic Aboriginal cultural landscape.

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New Twelve Apostles Trail underway

View along the Twelve ApostlesHikers and bikers alike will welcome the news that a new option to explore some of Victoria’s best coastline near the Great Ocean Road is underway.

A $6.2 million trail will be developed from the wooded inland village of Timboon heading out to Port Campbell - a launching point to one of Victoria’s most prized tourism attractions, The Twelve Apostles.

The Victorian Government will inject $4.5 million into the project, which will construct a trail between the two townships, linking the hinterland to the coast. Corangamite Shire Council will also contribute funds to the project.

The nature-based trail, designed to improve the health, wellbeing and safety of both visitors and locals, will also distribute economic benefit north of the coastline.

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