Pictured: Long time trail advocate and Timboon resident Alan Kerr with Princetown’s Caius Cuthell on a section of existing trail at Timboon.
Corangamite Shire Council has welcomed a $4.5 million boost which will help build the Twelve Apostles Trail Stage 1—Timboon to Port Campbell project after nearly 15 years of planning.
Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney yesterday announced the first funding as part of the Victorian Government’s $2.7 billion Building Works package.
The package aims to get people back to work after the coronavirus shutdown.
Mayor Neil Trotter said the announcement was terrific news.
“On behalf of the Shire I would like to thank the State Government for this much-needed stimulus for our local economy,” Cr Trotter said.
“Particular thanks go to Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes who was instrumental in getting the funding after she visited the Shire and heard our case for funding the trail.
“In conjunction with the $2.22 million we have allocated in the Draft Budget for 2020-2021, it gives us the funding we need to carry out Stage 1 construction of the Twelve Apostles trail, from Timboon to Port Campbell.
“This is a project that has been a priority for many years, involving a lot of work from previous Councils.
“David Pope, Matt Bowker, Mark Cuthell and Alan Kerr from the community worked together on the original proposal, together with Council’s Director Works & Services Brooke Love.
“The Great South Coast Group of Councils and Great Ocean Road Tourism have also advocated strongly for this project. This announcement will be a huge morale boost for the community.
“We’re in very challenging times and many of our residents have been impacted by the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Construction of the Twelve Apostles Trail will translate into immediate jobs for Shire residents and income for local businesses during the downturn.
“It will also create an ongoing asset that will continue to provide employment and recreation opportunities for our community into the future.”
Coastal Ward Councillor Simon Illingworth said the Twelve Apostles Trail had been in the planning for a very long time and would finally become a reality.
“Council has been very vocal in calling for the Government to fund this well thought out project and they have listened to us,” Cr Illingworth said.
“Our thanks go to the State Government for investing in a project that ticks so many boxes. It will keep our economy moving. It will provide jobs for our workers and support local contractors and suppliers.
“Most importantly, the finished product will directly benefit locals, providing walking and cycling opportunities, as well as encouraging longer visitor stays.
“Now we’ve got some real momentum going and it’s time to just get on with it.”
Council is currently completing the detailed design of the trail and consultation with landowners, agencies and the broader community will commence next week.