Construction of the long-awaited Twelve Apostles Trail has started at Timboon.
Stage 1 of the trail, from Timboon to Port Campbell, will provide 19 km of high-quality, off-road cycling and walking path.
The first section involves clearing, widening and improving 1.5 km of existing track at Power Creek Reserve, between Lambert Street and Glerums Road.
- installation of drainage culverts;
- preparation of path subgrade; and
- new material to form a 2.5 m-wide gravel path.
Corangamite Shire Council Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mason said construction would be done by a local contractor which employed local Corangamite people.
“Right off the bat, businesses and workers in the Shire are benefiting from this multi million project,” Mr Mason said.
“Five newly employed Council staff started preparing the site in July, clearing debris, trimming back vegetation and widening the track so it can be resheeted.
“A local quarry will benefit from material being bought nearby and other business in the Shire will benefit from supply chain purchases.
“Fuel will be bought from local suppliers, so there really is a wide range of flow-on benefits for the local economy.
“This is a great opportunity to provide financial stimulus for the community during challenging times, and will result in a fantastic asset for tourism health and lifestyle.”
The Power Creek Reserve Committee has provided support for this project.
The Twelve Apostles Trail Committee said: “This is a milestone moment for the committee as we have been prosecuting for the projects delivery for over 15 years.
“The speed and tenacity which Corangamite Shire have moved with the project since funding was announced has been fantastic, in particular we want to acknowledge the tireless work of Director Works and Services Brooke Love, who is the beating heart of the project.
“Timboon is set to be an early beneficiary of these works and excitement in the community is visible with more locals on bikes than ever before. The long held dream of riding to the beach from Timboon is eagerly awaited.”
The path will be closed to the public while works are in progress.
The State Government contributed $4.5 million towards the project from the Crisis Committee of Cabinet – Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.
Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney said: “We are proud to support projects like this one that create jobs and draw visitors to our beautiful Otways region now and into the future. This project will make Timboon an even better place to live, work and visit.
“This project is part of our Building Works package – a $2.7 billion commitment to get thousands of Victorians back to work with shovel-ready projects that provide lasting benefits to communities.”
Council has allocated $2 million to the project across 2019 and 2020 budgets.