Shire to benefit from almost $3 million in government funds

SOUTHERN Grampians Shire will benefit from a cash injection of almost $3 million.

Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford and Minister for Racing Martin Pakula were in the region on Wednesday to announce funds for three separate projects.

Ms Pulford said the state government would invest $2.7 million in a CBD revitalisation project in Cox Street, Hamilton, to improve safety for pedestrians and vehicles and activate a new retail precinct.

ELATED: Southern Grampians Shire mayor Mary-Ann Brown thanks State Minister for Racing Martin Pakula for an injection of funds. Picture: Rob Gunstone

ELATED: Southern Grampians Shire mayor Mary-Ann Brown thanks State Minister for Racing Martin Pakula for an injection of funds. Picture: Rob Gunstone

The works will help expand the retail precinct in Cox Street to accommodate larger shops, which have struggled to find the appropriate land size in the centre of town.

It will provide improved footpaths in Cox Street, installation of street furniture and plantings and deliver public WiFi and smart technology to make the street more attractive to new shops and their customers.

To improve pedestrian safety, a roundabout will be built at the intersection of Lonsdale and Cox Streets and a roundabout and raised pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Gray and Cox streets will be installed.

A wide median strip will be installed in Cox Street to add to the safety improvements and improve the amenity for pedestrians and shoppers.

The project aims to attract private investment from medium to large retail and hospitality businesses. 

The Cox Street project will support 20 jobs during construction and 85 new jobs once the retail precinct is up and running.

Southern Grampians Shire mayor Mary-Ann Brown said she was delighted the $4.05 million project would go ahead.

“The $2.7 million will get that project moving,” Councillor Brown said.

Mr Pakula announced $47,000 for a kangaroo-proof fence at the Dunkeld Racecourse and $78,000 to projects at the Hamilton Racing Club and Hamilton Harness Racing Club.

The state government is providing $47,000 for the $94,000 joint fencing project.

Dunkeld Racing Club is providing more than $10,000 for the perimeter fencing, and Racing Victoria is providing almost $37,000 towards the plastic running rails.

Mr Pakula said a kangaroo-proof fence was not an everyday request from racing clubs, but he said it was obvious it was needed.

“There were about a dozen kangaroos on the track when we arrived,” he said.

“We’re improving fencing at the Dunkeld Racecourse to boost safety for jockeys, horses and trainers.”

Improvements at the Hamilton Racing Club and Hamilton Harness Racing Club also received a cash injection from the state government.