Local campaigners including John Kennedy of Korumburra have hailed the announcement as great news for the community and the economy.

FIVE Gippsland projects are moving forward with funding made possible by the Victorian Government’s 2020-21 Local Sports Infrastructure Fund.

And at the head of the queue is the $3.164 million Great Southern Rail Trail extension project.

Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett MP today announced the funding, with these five projects being a part of 100 projects to benefit from a share in more than $30 million.

“Congratulations to these local communities – this boost will go a long way to support the growing number of people across Gippsland keen to get involved in local sport and recreation,” Ms Garrett said.

“It’s a great example of how the Victorian Government is making sport and recreation more accessible, welcoming and inclusive for all Victorians.

“The Victorian Government is giving communities like ours the facilities they need so more locals can play the sports they love.”

Locals have warmly welcomed the news.

“There’s shops in Leongatha and Korumburra that are on their knees at the moment. This is great news,” said rail trail extension campaigner John Kennedy.

“People will ride the trail, buy lunch, buy a house, go to the chemist, stay in a BnB.

“The only thing now is that if we want to develop like Bright and Myrtleford have along their rail trail, we need accommodation. The shire needs to be encouraging private people to develop BnBs and commercial operators to come in with good standard accommodation.

“But this is great news. I just hope they get on with it as soon as possible.”

This investment also recognises the overwhelming demand for shovel-ready community sports infrastructure across Victoria and includes additional funding provided through the Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program.

Funding for the five projects includes:

  • East Gippsland Shire Council. 1. East Gippsland Gymnastics Facility $800,000, 2. World Netball Development $500,000, 3. Lakes Entrance Foreshore Park Stage 1 $250,000.
  • South Gippsland Shire Council – Great Southern Rail Trail (GSRT) Extension Korumburra to Nyora $800,000
  • Wellington Shire Council – Warmer Pool for Yarram $250,000.

From change room upgrades to new aquatic centres, investments like these provide high-quality and accessible places for Victorians to reap the benefits of sport and active recreation participation.

This round of the Local Sports Infrastructure Fund will deliver over $243 million in local economic activity, creating hundreds of construction, maintenance and operational jobs.

The fund contributes to over $915 million government investment in community sport and recreation infrastructure since 2014.

This investment is improving the health, wellbeing, social and economic outcomes for Victorian communities.

The Local Sports Infrastructure Fund is also a key component of the government’s new suite of infrastructure investment programs including the World Game Facilities Fund, Community Cricket Program and Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program.

The Government acknowledged East Gippsland, South Gippsland and Wellington Shire Councils for their commitment and financial contribution to these projects.

Project details

  • Great Southern Rail Trail (GSRT) Extension – Korumburra to Nyora Stage 2 of the Great Southern Rail Trail Extension Project. While the full extension will see the trail run from Leongatha to Clyde, this project will see the construction of 21.34km of gravel trail between Korumburra to Nyora. Grant $800,000, total value $3,164,307.
  • Wellington Shire Council Warmer Pool For Yarram. The project will deliver the community’s proposal for a rigid over-pool structure with a fabric roof, side café-style blinds and electric heat pumps, supplemented by photovoltaic solar cells, in order to provide consistent water temperature of 29C at the Yarram Outdoor Pool during the seasonal operating period. Grant $250,000 total cost $771,500.