Golden Plains trails get funding

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Sports and Recreation Pillar

A significant multi-use trails project straddling the Golden Plains Shire and neighbouring municipalities has received $500,000 from the state government.

The Three Trails Project will improve and upgrade three significant multi-use trails: Ballarat–Skipton Rail Trail, Kuruc a Ruc Trail and Rainbow Bird Trail.

Popular with walkers, hikers, cyclists and horse-riders, these trails total 101km and connect 15 different townships and communities across Golden Plains Shire, the City of Ballarat and Corangamite Shire.

Golden Plains Shire secured the $500,000 grant from the Victorian Government’s Regional Infrastructure Fund.

The Three Trails Project will upgrade and improvement of the current trail infrastructure, as well as design and instal new supportive infrastructure, including: signage; shelters, seating, picnic tables and chairs; decking upgrades; safety corrals at major highway crossings; culvert and bridge upgrades; spray seal of trail sections; upgrades to the Pittong Sleepover; installation of trail counters for data collection; and environmental works including tree trimming.

The Three Trails Project also involves the promotion of the trails to new visitors and regional residents to increase the usage of the picturesque trails.

The total cost of the Three Trails Project is $750,000, which will be funded by the Victorian Government’s grant of $500,000; $180,000 from the Berrybank Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund; $57,000 from Golden Plains Shire Council; and $13,000 from the former Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail Committee. The Three Trails Project is scheduled to begin late this year.

The Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes announced Three Trails Project funding as part of a pacakge for 35 projects in rural and regional Victoria totalling $16 million to create jobs, improve liveability and, when travel restrictions are lifted, to attract more visitors to regional Victoria.

Golden Plains Shire Mayor and G21 Board member Cr Owen Sharkey said Council had lobbied for funding support for the Three Trail Project for many years and the announcement was an exciting milestone.

“Council is delighted to secure $500,000 to make the Three Trails Project a reality and we thank the Victorian Government for its significant support of this important regional project. This is a Priority Project of our Council and, along with valuable funding from the Berrybank Wind Farm, we are proud to deliver the vision of the Three Trails," Cr Sharkey said.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, more people of all ages are now exploring the outdoors, discovering our beautiful natural environment in Golden Plains, with families enjoying exercise in the fresh air including hiking and cycling together while social distancing.

“With improvements to these three great trails, more local residents in our growing communities and new visitors to the region will explore and enjoy our picturesque Golden Plains. Along with promoting the Ballarat–Skipton Rail Trail, Kuruc a Ruc Trail and Rainbow Bird Trails as destinations for outdoor travel, we welcome the boost to the visitor economy in the north of our Shire.”

Source: A Golden Plains Shire media statement