Picked from the pack

Myrtleford Times - - News - By ALEX CRAIG AND JUSTIN JENVEY

TWO ma­jor projects in the Kiewa Val­ley and one in Bright can now go ahead thanks to fund­ing through the State Government’s Pick My Pro­ject ini­tia­tive.

The ma­jor­ity of the lo­cal votes in the grants pro­gram went to­wards the up­grade of fa­cil­i­ties at Mt Beauty’s Big Hill Moun­tain Bike Park.

Re­ceiv­ing the sec­ond most votes from the pub­lic was ‘Run, Walk, Ride with the Flow, be­yond Peb­ble Beach’ while the third most pop­u­lar idea was for a new begin­ner moun­tain bike trail and trail­head at Bright.

The two Kiewa Val­ley devel­op­ments were granted $200,000 while the Bright pro­ject will re­ceive fund­ing of $164,000.

Pro­ject man­ager for the Big Hill Moun­tain Bike Park pro­ject, Damian He­man, said the aim was to turn the trail­head into a place where peo­ple could hang out, so­cialise and en­joy the view.

“We plan to in­stall bar­be­cues, shel­ters and seat­ing as well as a bike wash and re­pair stand,” he said.

“We are hop­ing that the new fa­cil­i­ties will not only at­tract rid­ers but bush­walk­ers and pic­nick­ers and enhance the na­tional and state cy­cling races we hold each year, but also im­prove lo­gis­tics for other lo­cal events such as the mu­sic fes­ti­val.

“We are grate­ful to the State Government and to the com­mu­nity for the level of sup­port they have shown.”

The Peb­ble Beach pro­ject in­cludes plans to ex­tend the pop­u­lar walk­ing track an ex­tra 900 me­tres up­stream along the West Kiewa River to cre­ate a round trip of six kilo­me­tres.

This idea was put for­ward by the Up­per Kiewa Val­ley Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion, led by lo­cal walk­ing track ac­tivist Jim Creb­bin, who has been work­ing on the scheme for over 10 years.

“Mar­ket research has shown that vis­i­tors to our area value ac­cess to rivers over most other ac­tiv­i­ties, and this track will play a cru­cial role in sup­port­ing the lo­cal econ­omy,” he said.

“The new sealed sur­face will make the track ac­ces­si­ble to all ages and abil­ity lev­els, in­clud­ing those with dis­abil­i­ties, and open up beau­ti­ful views of the river and the moun­tains.

“The pro­ject was sched­uled by the Alpine Shire for 2020, and we are de­lighted that Pick My Pro­ject has made it pos­si­ble to start work much sooner.”

With moun­tain bik­ing con­tin­u­ing to boom in Bright and the pop­u­lar pump track on Mys­tic Hill set to be de­mol­ished from har­vest­ing next year Pick My Pro­ject fund­ing will al­low for the re­lo­ca­tion of the trail­head and con­struc­tion of a begin­ner trail at Ro­tary Pines.

Alpine Com­mu­nity Pla­na­tion ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Alia Parker said a rest shel­ter a trail map near Dougherty’s Bridge will bet­ter con­nect both Mys­tic Park and the Morses Creek trails.

“We’re su­per ex­cited to be one of the suc­cess­fully funded Pick My Projects,” she said

“It en­sures that we can re­build the begin­ner moun­tain bike trail af­ter the har­vest, and re­de­vel­op­ing the Mys­tic trail head to suit our park’s chang­ing needs which is in­te­gral to Bright re­tain­ing its rep­u­ta­tion as one of the coun­try’s best moun­tain bik­ing des­ti­na­tions.

“This fund­ing, in com­bi­na­tion with our new Blue flow trail set to open this sum­mer, en­sures Mys­tic re­mains a de­sired tourist lo­ca­tion, ben­e­fit­ing our lo­cal busi­nesses and econ­omy.”

Ja­clyn Symes (MLC, North­ern Vic­to­ria) who was in Mt Beauty last Thurs­day to of­fi­cially an­nounce that the three lo­cal projects were suc­cess­ful in se­cur­ing fund­ing, said that small towns through­out North East Vic­to­ria had done the hard yards to at­tract the votes they needed to get their projects over the line.

Through the Vic­to­rian-first com­mu­nity grants ini­tia­tive there was a min­i­mum of $1 mil­lion up for grabs within each of the six metro and nine re­gional part­ner­ship ar­eas in the state.

Alpine Shire (3) along with the Indigo (3) and Towong (2) shires were the only lo­cal government ar­eas in the Ovens and Mur­ray re­gion to have projects funded.

Across the state there are 237 projects that will share in $30 mil­lion.

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