THE Wonthaggi Activity Centre Streetscapes project, spearheaded by the Bass Coast Shire Council, has received a $2m boost from the state government.

Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas visited Wonthaggi today (Thursday, May 13) to announce the funding from the Regional Infrastructure Fund – Stimulus Round. Council will allocate $1m to the project.

Minister Thomas said the project would provide better pedestrian access, improved cycling and motorist networks, and create new alfresco dining areas.

Recently adopted by council, the Wonthaggi Activity Centre Plan provides strategic and overarching guidance for the development of Wonthaggi over the next 20 years.

Council said the funding would be used to enhance the safety, functionality and presentation of McBride Avenue, a key amenity and food and entertainment corridor.

It would also allow for further streetscape works, including landscaping, street furniture, wayfinding signage and art installations. Pedestrian safety works would also be completed, such as improvements to the pedestrian network within the CBD, street improvements including upgrading the Biggs Drive and Murray Street intersection and further developing Graham Street as a freight route.

Apex Park will be upgraded again, following the installation of a playground, to improve drainage and lighting to transform it into a year-round recreational and community hub.

Minister Thomas praised the natural attractions and history of the area.

The economy had taken a hit due to COVID-19, especially in tourism-dependent economies such as Bass Coast, but Minister Thomas said the streetscapes project would stimulate the economy.

Mayor Cr Brett Tessari said the project would see the revitalisation of the heart of Wonthaggi, while the council looked forward to seeing increasing visitor numbers locally.

Cr Tessari welcomed the state government’s funding for the area, pointing out other investments over the past few years, including the Wonthaggi Secondary College senior campus, junior secondary school at San Remo, Wonthaggi Hospital, Guy Road shared path project and Guide Park, amongst others.

He said council had successfully campaigned for funding and would continue its advocacy efforts.

The streetscapes funding follows last year’s successful launch of Wonthaggi Opportunity Unlocked.