An ICONIC walking trail proposed for the Grampians will go ahead, whichever party wins government.
The Grampians Peaks Trail, touted as the state’s premier long-distance walk, yesterday won a $10 million commitment from the Coalition on top of $2.5 million already promised, and a $19.1 million pledge from the ALP.
The trail would take in a 144-kilometre route extending from Mount Zero in the north of the national park through Halls Gap and to Dunkeld in the south.
The Grampians Tourism Board expects tourists to experience the entire trail in a 13-day/12-night walk broken into three-day/two-night sections that showcase food, wine and natural attractions along the way.
“The Grampians Peaks Trail will attract a further 86,000 visitor nights per year to the region by 2024. It will generate a further $6.39 million of annual expenditure along with 35 direct and 75 indirect full-time jobs for our regional communities,” CEO Will Flamsteed said.
Deputy Premier Peter Ryan joined Environment Minister Ryan Smith and Nationals candidate for Lowan Emma Kealy to announce the Coalition’s $10 million pre-election commitment in Halls Gap yesterday.
“Today is a great day for the local communities of Halls Gap, Dunkeld, Wartook and Roses Gap, as well as Stawell, Ararat and the broader region,” Mr Ryan said.
Mr Smith also released the final masterplan for the trail, developed following a public consultation process.
“Our $10 million commitment will deliver 23 kilometres of new track and five new camps — at Rosea, Barbican, Mount William, Stockyard Saddle and Yarram Gap,” Mr Smith said.
Ms Kealy described the project as a “game-changer” for the region.
Mr Ryan also confirmed that a $1.2 million investment the Coalition government had set aside from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to fund a preliminary stage of the trail was now available.
“This stage will create a new 1.2-kilometre track from Borough Huts to Barbican Rocks hiker camp,” Mr Ryan said.
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews announced a $19m investment in the project during a visit to Stawell yesterday.
He said Labor would also seek contributions from federal and local government to meet the full $27.5 mil