On the back of the recent Federal Liberal Nationals Government’s announcement of $1.5 million to complete stage one, Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation Peter Walsh and Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull have announced a $1.5m grant will be provided to East Gippsland Shire Council by an elected Liberal Nationals Government for stage two of the project, pending a matching local government commitment.
“The Mountain Bike Trail will put Omeo on the map, bringing in people from our local region and abroad to enjoy what our community has to offer,” Mr Bull said.
"I have raised this project in Parliament and tabled a petition, but the city-centric Labor Government still refuses to recognise the economic and social benefits this project will deliver, so it is pleasing to be here today to announce this commitment.”
Mr Walsh said the region was already popular through the winter months, with the mountain bike trail to boost spending in local businesses and support the creation of new jobs outside of the ski season.
"Victoria’s picturesque High Country truly has something for everyone and this project will help Omeo market itself as an all-year-round tourist hotspot, while also offering a unique opportunity for mountain bikers, a sport that continues to grow in popularity,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Nationals believe in backing projects that local communities have identified as priorities and we agree the Omeo Mountain Bike Trail will make Omeo and the Tambo Valley an even better place to live and visit.”
"It is based on the successful Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails in northern Tasmania, which have completely transformed that community," Mr Bull said.
“All that’s needed now is for the Shire to match this pledge so the project can be finalised."
East Gippsland Shire Councillor Natalie O’Connell, of Omeo, said she was excited to hear a State Liberal Nationals Government will support the project.
“The social and economic benefits of having fully completed project will be incredible,” Cr O’Connell said.