Government supports Heyfield memorial
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Government supports Heyfield memorial

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, today announced $65,000 in State funding will go towards the establishment of a memorial in Heyfield for Victorian timber workers. Tim is pictured with John Mahoney (President of Victorian Timber Workers Memorial at Heyfield), Cr Scott Rossetti (Mayor Wellington Shire Council) and Cr Malcolm Hole (Wellington Shire Council).

The Victorian Coalition Government is providing $65,000 from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to establish a permanent memorial to Victoria’s timber workers, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, announced today.

Mr Bull said the project would see a state memorial built in Heyfield, the largest timber town in Victoria, to commemorate workers who lost their lives in the industry.

“Victoria’s timber industry has a rich history and currently there is no memorial in regional Victoria that honours its importance, and those workers who lost their lives,” Mr Bull said.

“This project will establish a site where people can come to commemorate these workers and join with others in remembrance and reflection and I pay tribute to the local group that has met continuously over recent years to see this come to fruition.

“I have met with the group of passionate locals, led by John Mahoney, and it is a pleasure to be able to provide this funding to see their goal realised.

“A public art sculpture will be the centrepiece of the memorial, which will be surrounded by native trees in Heyfield Park.

“Works will include connecting paths, low stone walls, seating, interpretive panels and memorial plaques.

“The project will enhance the Heyfield community’s sense of place, recognising the nine lives that have been lost in the local industry over the last 40 years.

“The unique memorial will also add to the suite of attractions in and around the Heyfield area, drawing new visitors to the region.

“The site is well connected to facilities at Heyfield Park, an existing commemorative walk and the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail.

“The increase in visitors will have positive flow-on effects for local businesses and there will be local job opportunities during the construction phase.”

Mr Bull said the Victorian Coalition Government funding towards the $141,000 Victorian Timber Memorial project would be provided through the Regional Growth Fund to Wellington Shire Council, which would contribute $40,000, with the Heyfield community providing $36,000.

“The Regional Growth Fund invests in community-led projects to drive jobs, investment and innovation in rural and regional Victoria,” Mr Bull said.

Since it was established in 2011, the Regional Growth Fund has supported 1600 projects generating $1.8 billion of total investment.

In Wellington Shire, the Regional Growth Fund has provided $12.3 million to 46 projects, leveraging $43.5 million in total investment. These projects include:
• $500,000 for the $2.477 million Australian Sustainable Hardwoods expansion project
• $150,000 for the $380,000 Maffra farmhouse cheese expansion project; and
• $200,000 for the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail project (Glengarry to Cowwarr section).

The project is expected to be completed in August 2015.