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Council welcomes Prime Minister's promise of tourism funding for the Dandenong Ranges

Published: 26 May 2016

Cardinia Shire Council has welcomed the Prime Minister’s bumper tourism commitment to the Dandenong Ranges region.

Mr Turnbull and Member for LaTrobe, Jason Wood visited Emerald Lake Park yesterday and promised $20 million towards tourism projects in Cardinia Shire and the Shire of Yarra Ranges.

Two great projects for Cardinia Shire include:

  • $6.5 million upgrade to Puffing Billy and a new discovery centre
  • $1 million extension of the Emerald–Cockatoo bike and pedestrian trail to Gembrook.

Extending the Emerald–Cockatoo trail to Gembook has the potential to become a great draw card to Cardinia Shire like the Warburton Rail Trail in the Shire of Yarra Ranges. It would expand recreation options for residents and visitors and provide opportunities for increased public health and wellbeing.

The extension would boost tourism along the Puffing Billy Railway corridor, improve safety by separating the trail from VicRoads main roads in high-speed areas and reduce impacts on the environment. It would also provide better connections to community facilities like Gembrook Reserve and Cockatoo and Gembrook primary schools.

The proposed trail is approximately 6.5km in length and a 2–2.5m wide mix of concrete and gravel surface. It would start where the Emerald–Cockatoo section of trail finishes on McBride Street outside Alma Treloar Reserve and finish at the Gembrook Puffing Billy Station.

Estimated cost of the project is $2.2 million and would take 2–3 months to complete.

Other projects in yesterday’s announcement included $2.5 million for the Ridge Walk and $10 million for the widening of the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road.