On Wednesday, 12 September, 2018, representatives from the Yarra Ranges Council and Inspiro hosted Minister Marlene Kairouz & Minister James Merlino at the Belgrave Hub. Haven't heard of the Belgrave Hub before or not sure what's offered there? Click here to find out.
Following the visit at Belgrave Minister Kairouz announced a significant investment in the Shire of Yarra Ranges, part of $50 million in grants that will go towards 45 new projects to grow Melbourne's suburbs, officially called the 2018/19 Growing Suburbs Fund.
4 great projects in the Yarra Ranges get extra funding - ensuring their success
The fund will contribute $8.7 million towards four projects in the Yarra Ranges that will cost a total of approximately $21 million, significantly helping their success and making sure they happen sooner rather than potentially years into the future. This funding includes $2 million towards the $10.6 million 26-kilometre Ridgewalk – a cultural and heritage walking and cycling trail that will connect towns through the hills (scroll down to find out more about the Ridgewalk and the 3 other projects).
1. The $5.8 million dollar Dandenong Ranges Ridgewalk
The Ridgewalk project will wind through the Dandenong Ranges including Upwey, Tecoma, Montrose, Ferny Creek, Sassafras, Olinda, Mount Dandenong, Kallista, Sherbrooke, Kalorama, and Upper Ferntree Gully. See where the Ridgewalk will go when completed here: Yarra-Ranges-Council_Ridgewalk.
The Ridgewalk trail will be 26 kilometres long.
2. Yarra Valley Trail connecting to Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail - $10.6 million!
The Yarra Valley Trail will also receive $2.5 million to help Yarra Ranges Council deliver stage one of the trail. The first 11.5-kilometre section will link Lilydale to Yarra Glen by creating a safe, accessible walking and cycling trail. The Yarra Valley Trail will join up with the Warburton Rail Trail and intersect with several visitor destinations. The trail, which already goes from Lilydale to Warburton, will not link up with Yarra Glen via Lilydale, from Yarra Glen to Healesville and then from Healesville to Woori Yallock.
The Yarra Ranges council expects the trail to atract more than 210,000 people annually, generate 222 new jobs and create more than $30 million for the local economy. Funding for the construction of the Trail is estimated to cost $10.6 million.
The trail is an exciting concept that would eventually create a loop through the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges. It will involve the long awaited extension of the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail from Lilydale to Yarra Glen. By a combination of quiet roads, riverside trails and aqueduct trails that are already in existence it will go on to Healesville, then to Woori Yallock, where it will join back up with the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail.
The Yarra Ranges Council says that the trail will be a major tourism draw card, attract new business and help to position the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges as a cycling, running and walking destination.
Find out more about the Yarra Valley trail here:
Map below of the Yarra Valley trail
3. $4 million for 100 kilometres of new Warburton Mountain Bike Trails
Another $3 million from the State Government will help Yarra Ranges Shire Council deliver the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination – a mountain bike trail network centred on Warburton, in the heart of the Yarra Valley. Find out more here about the 100+ kilometres of new mountain biking trails that are being built in Warburton, work has already started!
MORE HERE: Warburton mountain bike trail gets a $3 million funding win
The council says that the Yarra Ranges would receive 122 new jobs (seems a very oddly precise number) and a $20.4 million increase in economic spending in the region through the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination. Work has reportedly already begun on this great new project.
The Liberal Government have also said that they will provide $3 million towards the project.
4. Synthetic soccer field at Esther Park Mooroolbark
Esther Park Mooroolbark will receive $1.25 million for a multi-pitch synthetic soccer facility with lighting, which will cater for junior and senior competition soccer.
These four projects improve the amenity, livability and resilience of local communities, and support local jobs.
Minister for Local Government Marlene Kairouz said: “The Growing Suburbs Fund is building the infrastructure our fastest growing communities need. We know that Melbourne’s outer suburbs are growing fast, that’s why we’re investing in local projects that local residents will benefit from for years to come.”
Member for Monbulk James Merlino said: “These four new projects will make a real difference because they go to the heart of building what families need in our community.”
Personally I think these four projects are a great idea and I can't wait for them to be completed (or started...). What are your thoughts about these four projects, are they a good way to spend tax payers funds? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.