If elected in the forthcoming state election, a Liberal Nationals Government will provide $5 million towards the construction of Stage One of the Daylesford to Hanging Rock Rail Trail, the Coalition has announced.
The completion of the trail has long been a Bicycle Network priority.
Recently the Hepburn and Macedon Ranges Shires—with backing from Daylesford and Hanging Rock Tourism—have ramped up lobbying in support of the project.
The Daylesford to Hanging Rock Rail Trail involves converting the railway lines of the former Carlsruhe – Daylesford railway which closed in 1978, with a 44km bike track.
The Rail Trail will offer a diverse range of tourism experiences along the route, including the experience of the region’s cafes, wineries, heritage and local natural attractions like the Daylesford and Hepburn Mineral Springs and Wombat State Forest.
The project concept plan has estimated that the Rail Trail will bring an extra 62,500 visitors to the region each year, could create 51 new jobs and generate $4.1 million in economic benefits.
Announcing the commitment, Shadow Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Heidi Victoria, said the party’s local candidate, Amanda Miller "had been working hard as a strong advocate for this important economic and tourism project and I am proud to be with her to announce the Liberal Nationals will make the Daylesford to Hanging Rock Rail Trail happen.”
Amanda Millar said: “Hepburn Shire and Macedon Ranges Shire Councils have long identified the need for an economic driver in the Hepburn Shire, with businesses in the region needing a boost.
"The Rail Trail travels through some of Victoria’s most beautiful places, enabling cyclists to experience and enjoy these iconic towns in a whole new way.
"This project provides the opportunity for employment and tourist growth in the Macedon Ranges and Hepburn Shire, and will help ensure Daylesford is a destination for leisurely bike riders and families across Australia and from overseas.”