AFTER several years of planning and petitioning, the Jumbunna Road shared pathway – connecting the Korumburra township with the secondary college – has officially opened.

Korumburra Secondary College students will be the main beneficiaries of the project, which cost $907,000.

“Students are the future of our community and they will be the ones using the infrastructure like this for a long time to come,” South Gippsland Shire CEO Kerryn Ellis said yesterday (Monday, February 8) at the official opening.

Joined by representatives of the Korumburra Business Association, Korumburra Round Table and A1 Civil Contracting, along with Gippsland South MP Danny O’Brien and Korumburra Secondary College principal Vaya Dauphin and students, Ms Ellis thanked the community who pushed for the project.

“The shared pathway is a project that has been a number of years in the making,” Ms Ellis said.

“This was not a straightforward renewal project. The pathway required significant engineering and design and even the purchase of additional land to make it happen.”

Korumburra Secondary College student Brodie Hall reflected on the significant improvement of the walking track, which he sometimes uses to get to school.

“It was smaller and not as smooth on top,” Brodie said.

“It’s doubled in size now and fits everyone – all your friends fit now.

“I do feel safer walking to school.”

Principal Vaya Dauphin said the old pathway had proved dangerous when it flooded.

“We had to send teachers down to man the road when it flooded because students had to walk on the road to get around it,” she said.

Terry Waycott of the Korumburra Round Table has a strong advocate for the pathway after identifying the problems with it several years ago.

“It was an old and tired goat track which had been in use for many years,” Mr Waycott said.

He thanked A1 Civil Contractors who built the new pathway between May and October 2020.

“They dealt with a pandemic and a wet Korumburra winter – which was the wettest in 27 years,” he said.