GRANTS of $6 million from the state government for the Welshpool to Alberton section of the Great Southern Rail Trail, and also $500,000 and $800,000 respectively for the Leongatha-Korumburra-Nyora sections will make our trail one of the best in Australia.

Now some new applications for $6 million in funding for the Leongatha and Korumburra rail precinct upgrades will go a long way to delivering that benefit right into the heart of South Gippsland’s two main towns.

At last week’s council meeting administrator Christian Zahra welcomed the applications for these works.

“It’s a great set of projects which will deliver real benefit to the people of South Gippsland, in particular the communities of Korumburra and Leongatha.

“Madam chair, there’s a great deal of love for these railway precincts, and the assets that they contain. There’s a lot of history involved in them, and a lot of great local stories about them too, but they’re very much an important part of the history and of real community value,” Mr Zahra said.

“But the great challenges we’ve discussed many times is what do you do with them in an environment where their principal reason for the existing is no longer there.

“And this is one way of answering that question through collaborative partnership with other tiers of government, to make sure that there is real community value that derives from these assets into the future.

“This is a great example of what a partnership should look like if we are able to get all of the way there with our other partners.

“So, it’s a $6 million project. We’re looking for $2 million from the state government and $3 million from the federal government. We think that we’ve made a very compelling submission for something that would deliver real benefit to the community.”