THE Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, has welcomed news that a lease has been signed allowing the proposed rail trail between Leongatha and Korumburra to proceed to the next step.
It comes as Mr O’Brien took the fight for funding for the refurbishment of Korumburra railway station to State Parliament.
Mr O’Brien raised the matter last Thursday night, calling on the Andrews Labor Government to provide funds for the renovation of the beautiful Korumburra Station so that it can be used by the local community.
“The Station@Korumburra Working Group has been working on a plan to renovate and revitalise the old station building for a number of years now,” Mr O’Brien said.
“It has successfully been given community user status by VicTrack and has been promised access to funding now for several years.
“However, they were recently advised that there is no funding available which is a great disappointment to the community.
“I’ve now asked the government to directly provide funding through VicTrack, which is available annually for the renovation of disused railway stations.”
The station is proposed to be used for arts training, community groups, as a function centre and could potentially be linked to the proposed community hub in the adjacent rail area.
Mr O’Brien said the finalisation of a lease between VicTrack and South Gippsland Shire for the rail corridor for a new rail trail was a good step forward.
“While I am keen to ensure there is future provision for the return of passenger trains in the medium to longer term, I am supportive of the proposed rail trail between Leongatha and Korumburra and want to see that proposal move forward.
“Funding support from the State Government is now needed to construct the trail.
“I’ve also asked the government to provide advice as to whether the Korumburra Men’s Shed could find a new facility on
VicTrack land.
“The Men’s Shed currently operates out of the old goods shed at the rail station but has run out of space and needs a larger venue.”
Mr O’Brien said Minister for Transport, Jacinta Allan provided a generic response noting that the request for funding would be considered.