A JOINT project between Rotary and the Lowan Freemason Lodge has raised more than $80,000 for the refurbishment of Nhill’s boardwalk.
The State Government will contribute $30,000 to the restoration project in addition to $31,000 from the Freemasonry Green Thumb fund and $20,000 from community contributions.
The boardwalk begins at Jaypex Park and winds through the Nhill Swamp Wildlife Reserve.
Nhill Rotary Club president Laurie Robins said the refurbishment would benefit Nhill’s economy.
“It’s a fantastic result,” he said.
“It will mean another popular tourist attraction will open again in the township of Nhill.”
The boardwalk was condemned by Parks Victoria, with $20,000 allocated for its demolition.
Nhill Boardwalk Refurbishment Committee secretary Ken Dodds said it was great to be able to save the boardwalk.
“People love it because it goes all through Nhill Lake,” he said.
“People right from Melbourne to Adelaide said they used it because it was in a prominent spot on the west side of the lake.”
Mr Dodds said collaboration between Freemasons, Rotary and government was uncommon, but the joint effort had delivered a positive outcome for the region.
“It’s significant for western Victoria,” he said.
“It’s good to see the government and the organisations getting together.”
Mr Robins said Nhill Rotary Club had saved the boardwalk from demolition and subsequently taken the refurbishment project to the Lowan Lodge, which had then approached Freemasons Victoria.
Freemasons Victoria then successfully lobbied Climate Change Minister Ryan Smith, who presented the funding.
Mr Robins said the next step would be to obtain quotes for materials and labour.
“We plan to refurbish it and bring it back to as good as or better than what it was originally,” he said.
“We’re going to bring it back to a safe thing to use.”
He expected repairs to start soon.