A $1.2 million, 61-kilometre-long bike and walking track is on its way to the Wimmera River.
Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation Bridget McKenzie was in Dimboola on Wednesday to announce Hindmarsh Shire Council will receive $600,000 in federal funding to create the Wimmera River Discovery Trail.
The trail will stretch between Dimboola and Jeparit once completed, and is being financed under the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.
The state government is committing $400,000 and Hindmarsh Shire Council $200,000 to the project.
Mayor Ron Ismay said the ultimate aim was to extend the trail to Lake Albacutya.
“This has been in the works for a while, and it will complement the other tourism initiatives we’ve done around promoting Pink Lake and Lake Tyrell,” Cr Ismay said.
“We’ve worked with people from Cycling Victoria help us create the route for the trail, and it’s basically about promoting camping and recreation opportunities to people who might like to get out into the bush.”
Strategy to maximise art trail's value
A further $562,500 will flow from Canberra into Yarriambiack Shire’s coffers, so it can develop the Wimmera Mallee Tourist Trails strategic plan.
Cr Massey said at this stage the plan involved adding to the Silo Art Trail and increasing the spend of visitors coming to the region to see the existing ones.
“We’re looking to link it (the trail) in with events in the area, for example the Stick Shed at Murtoa, Woods Music Festival in Rupanyup and the machinery museum at Warracknabeal,” he said.
“We will be working with the communities in our towns to see what they can offer in the way of accommodation, meals and shopping to visitors.
“We currently have six silos and the plans are to extend that by eight so the trail covers Buloke, Hindmarsh, Yarriambiack and West Wimmera shires.
“Four of those will be financed by the funding which is now available and will be included in the plan we create.”