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Linking central Victoria via the old railway line
At its meeting on 16 December, the City of Greater Bendigo council voted unanimously to support preparing a detailed grant submission to Regional Development Victoria to fund the extension of the trail to Heathcote. Councillors spoke enthusiastically about the tourism and economic development potential and what a marvellous asset it will be for local communities to enjoy and improve the health and wellbeing of their members. Some Councillors even mentioned going to Kilmore, which is well outside this council’s boundaries, yet is definitely the ‘big picture’ vision of our group..
The resolution means council is willing to fund part of the development, as grants generally require co-contributions from local government.
The grant submission should be ready by March 2010. (Read the report submitted to council. PDF 100 kb)
The City of Greater Bendigo has called for tenders to design and build replacement bridges between Bendigo and Axedale for the trail. Construction does depend on funding, but that’s being worked on (see above). See the council’s web site for details.
You are being watched! The council has installed two counters on the trail, one at the Strickland Rd original wooden railway bridge (only one of two between Bendigo and Heathcote) and the other at the Axecreek swing bridge. This information will help back up anecdotal evidence about the trail’s usage with some hard figures – all good when you’re applying for funding to upgrade and extend.
Bendigo council is very supportive and things are happening at the Bendigo end of the trail, but there’s still lots of work to do. Early 2010 we’ll be preparing our ‘battle plan’ for the year ahead – and looking for some more hands to help.
Immediately, we’re looking for someone to take on either the communications or the secretarial duties. (The two are a bit big for one person to manage.) So if you have skills to fill either and a couple of hours a week to put in, please let us know.
Thanks to all those who’ve done some fabulous work this year. We’ve achieved some great things so far, in a relatively short time frame.
Have a safe and happy Christmas and we look forward to meeting up with you all on the trail next year!