Mornington Shire has committed $10M over the next five years towards the completion of the Peninsula Trail project.
The council wants the 100km bike and walking network extending across the Mornington Peninsula to be a world class attraction, and it is calling on state and federal governments to pitch in the remain funding needed to make the project a reality.
It is one of the most scenic shared trails in Victoria, Mornington Shire says, with enormous transformational potential for the region.
"Our recent community consultation gave us a loud and clear message that better walking and cycling facilities are a priority, giving us better active transport options, connecting our townships and supporting our tourism economy,” the council states.
"During COVID, our communities have been walking and cycling more than ever and have really appreciated the mental health and well-being benefits of safe open spaces.
"The Peninsula Trail project will mean fantastic recreational opportunities by improving access to our stunning natural and coastal environments , better cross peninsula access and much needed jobs to help our COVID recovery.
"In addition to wide-spread community support for this project, we are also working with all eight Rotary Clubs across the Peninsula. We are honoured they have chosen Peninsula Trail to mark the 100th anniversary of Rotary in Australia."
The Shire is advocating to the Victorian and Federal Government to deliver a funding commitment of $40 million.
Phase 1 (2022-2026) including Baxter to Somerville, Mornington to Moorooduc and Southern Peninsula Missing Links (including Anthony’s Nose), will cost $20 million, of which the Federal Government has committed $2 million.
Phase 1 outputs include $19.5 million direct and indirect economic output, 55 direct and indirect FTE jobs.
The project will strengthen Peninsula’s brand as a premier cycling and walking destination. The Shire has committed $10 million towards the total project.
Mayor, Despi O’Connor said: “We have shown that Peninsula Trail is one of our highest priorities with a 10M commitment."
"We now need the State and Federal governments to walk alongside us and fill the missing piece of the funding puzzle, so we can get on with filling the missing pieces in the trail network.
“This project will kick start our Covid recovery and provide our residents and visitors with new ways to experience the Peninsula.
“With limited public transport options, Peninsula Trail gives our local community alternative ways to get around and visitors new avenues to explore our beautiful region."
"People will even be able to cycle from Melbourne all the way to Sorrento which will become one the world’s most scenic cycling routes,” she said.
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