Bass MP Jordan Crugnale is joined by the Bass Coast Mayor Michael Whelan and councillors David Rooks and Ron Bauer for the announcement of $3 million for a shared pathway between Inverloch and Wonthaggi, linking through to Phillip Island.


‘WOW, this is great! That’s how the Bass Coast Mayor Cr Michael Whelan greeted the announcement by Bass MP Jordan Crugnale on Thursday this week that the state government was committing $3 million from its ‘Growing Suburbs Fund’ to a shared pathway, running 14 kilometres, between Wonthaggi and Inverloch.

The new link has also been warmly welcomed by Amy Easton, President of the Wonthaggi Business and Tourism Association.

“That’s fantastic and it’s also recognition that Wonthaggi’s not just the biggest regional town in the area, it also has a crucial role to play in the visitor economy as well,” said Amy.

“It’s going to be great, and not just for the visitors, it will be a great resource for the local residents as well to be able to get out there and walk or ride around the coast, all the way from Inverloch to Cowes on Phillip Island if they want to.”

Ms Crugnale, definitely in election mode ahead of the State Government election on Saturday, November 26 this year, made the announcement of a further $3 million for Bass Coast, matching the $4.7 million committed by the Bass Coast Shire to the Inverloch-Wonthaggi link, at the official start to work on the Cowes Cultural Centre.

That project, costing a cool $27.2 million, has received a $3.3m grant from the state, together with a $10m low-interest loan from the state’s Community Infrastructure Loan Scheme and $5 million from the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.

Ms Crugnale said she was delighted to finally see a start to work on the cultural centre but just as delighted to see the funding come through for the shared pathway from Inverloch to Wonthaggi.

“I’m also very thrilled to announce $3 million from the latest round of the Growing Suburbs Fund, and it has been committed towards a new shared trail connecting Wonthaggi to Inverloch.

“So, that will mean a 14-kilometre-long cycling and walking trail to connect these two key towns.

It’s something that the community will want to see, we’ve all wanted to get from Inverloch to Wonthaggi and then connect right through the shared pathway all the way through to Cowes.

“And we know that people are wanting to get out there, wanting to get active, they want to get into nature and immerse themselves, get on their bikes and really explore this beautiful stunning coastline and seascape and landscape and the hills of the Bass Coast Shire.

“So, the Growing Suburbs Fund, I do have to say a few things about that, it’s been running for 7 years and to date we’ve invested over 375 million in nearly 300 projects, including community hubs, early learning centres, rec reserves and precinct upgrades.

“And since the fund was expanded, and it was something that even on my time on council we were pushing for to be included with the interface councils, in the peri-urban group, and so I want to thank Council for their continued advocacy, they’ve also now been included in the Growing Suburbs Fund as well.

“The projects include obviously this one, the Guy Road Shared Pathway and the Guide Park Regional Play Space, which we were at this morning.”

“Wow, that’s great, that’s terrific,” said Bass Coast Mayor Cr Michael Whelan.

The $3 million funding announcement, for a new walking and cycling trail from the Growing Suburbs Fund, was made on behalf of Local Government Minister Shaun Leane.

Ms Crugnale said the new walking and cycling trail would run between Inverloch and Wonthaggi, creating a 14-kilometre shared trail connecting two of the region’s key residential and commercial towns.

“The link will connect to the Bass Coast Rail Trail, creating new recreation and commuter links for people. The Growing Suburbs Fund helps deliver high-quality facilities for communities in Victoria’s interface and peri-urban areas.”

She said the fund had facilitated a total investment of more than $1.07 billion in local infrastructure.

“Every Growing Suburbs Fund project we support helps deliver vital facilities, creates jobs and makes a real difference for our fastest-growing communities,” Ms Crugnale said.

“I’m really pleased that we have been able to support such an array of projects through this fund for our Bass Coast community that also benefits our Gippsland and visitor communities as well – we love our walking trails, our libraries, our arts, cultural and performing centres and of course being able to provide high-quality function and community spaces means our cherished local groups can also run activities, programs and events that connect and service us too.”