Visitors to the Great Ocean Road are set to benefit from a new bike and walking trail that will encourage more people to stay longer and experience what the hinterland region has to offer.
Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas on Thursday viewed progress on the Twelve Apostles Trail delivered through the Labor Government's Regional Infrastructure Fund.
The Twelve Apostles Trail links Timboon to Port Campbell with a 20-kilometre bike and walking path, boosting the region's tourism appeal by providing a scenic track from the hinterland to the Great Ocean Road coastline.
The trail will further boost the local economy by bringing visitors to the doorstep of local gourmet food and farmgate businesses, with the Timboon section now complete.
The state government is investing $4.5 million towards the Twelve Apostles Trail to make the project a reality.
It will link to the Camperdown-Timboon Rail Trail in Port Campbell allowing visitors to experience even more of the Great Ocean Road.
The project will be enhanced by the Government's $6 million investment in the Port Campbell town centre revitalisation project. Early works for the project's streetscapes are already underway.
"We are proud to support these projects revitalising the Great Ocean Road because they will bring more visitors and jobs to the local area," Minister Thomas said.
"We know that so far summer has been busy, with tourists and locals flocking to regional Victoria - these projects boost tourism opportunities and showcase what the region has to offer."
The last section of the trail is currently up for tender, while the Port Campbell streetscape works went up for tender two weeks ago, Mayor Ruth Gstrein said.
"We were absolutely delighted when we were given that funding last year and I think particularly with the streetscape committee we've been working with the project control group for several years now trying to make sure that we get the best possible outcome for the community and business operators," Cr Gstrein said.
"We're going to plan the works around and not during the peak season."
The trail is anticipated to be finished by mid-year and works on Port Campbell will kick off after Easter to avoid disruption to tourism. The federal government will contribute $5.5 million to the project, alongside the state government's $6 million and council's $4.1 million.
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