Walk receives funding

Walk receives funding

The proposed Krautungalung Walk in Lakes Entrance was one of the winners in the Regional Recovery Partnerships (RRP) funding announced by the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, and Federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, last Friday.
$2.2 million has been allocated to see the first stage of the indigenous themed boardwalk and shared pathway, which will provide a circuit around the eastern end of Cunninghame Arm, linking Main Beach to Eastern Beach. 
“We recognise East Gippsland has been one of the regions hardest hit by the combined impacts of drought, bushfires and the coronavirus,” Mr McCormack said.
“The successful projects all have funding commitments from the state or local government and have the capacity to be delivered over the next 12 months.” 
Mr Chester said all RRP projects were investments in the future of the region to drive jobs growth during construction, but also deliver long term, sustainable opportunities in tourism and retaining skilled workers.
“We need to keep improving community infrastructure to attract and retain workers in health and education and at the same time, promote the visitor economy on a year round basis,” he said.
“Projects like streetscape improvements and the Krautungalung Walk are all about improving our attractions and transforming the local economy.
“The construction of the path consists of four stages that will link missing sections on both sides of the water.
“The project will use local artists to tell the story of the traditional owners of this special place, creating an opportunity for better understanding of indigenous culture.
“The circuit will deliver long term social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits and entrench Lakes Entrance as a peak destination.”
Mr Chester said he had always been a strong advocate for a healthy lifestyle and encouraging Gippslanders to get more active, more often.
“The circuit is designed to be inclusive and inspire people of all abilities to be more active and encourage locals to use the circuit as part of their regular exercise routine.
“Investing in better facilities on public land is good for tourism and the liveability of our local communities.
“Further investment in infrastructure like shared pathways, exercise tracks and bike trails in Lakes Entrance will complement natural attractions and boost local jobs.”
Mr Chester said the new walk would create jobs during construction and improve the opportunities for locals and visitors to enjoy the eastern section of Cunninghame Arm.
“Our region’s rich indigenous heritage is poorly understood and rarely presented in a public environment to locals and the many visitors who travel to Lakes Entrance,” he said.
“Having a raised boardwalk along the lakeside would minimise environmental impacts and allow people in wheelchairs, mobility scooters and families with prams to enjoy a 4.5-kilometre circuit in complete safety.
“I am looking forward to delivering these projects as soon as possible, in partnership with East Gippsland Shire and local community groups.”
Lakes Entrance Action and Development Association (LEADA) president, Bruce Hurley, said the construction of the Krautungalung Walk is a top priority of the town.
“In 2019, LEADA received a$50,000 Community Development Grant from the Federal Government for the development of a concept designs and pre construction proposal for the Krauatungalung Walk project,” he said.  
“This project has reached completion and four reports were completed in December 2020. The reports are concept design and pre construction proposal, Aboriginal art concept design, consultation review and environmental values assessment.  The four reports are available on LEADA’s website.
“The project will create a new all abilities indigenous themed walking circuit in Lakes Entrance along the shores of Cunninghame Arm, celebrating the region’s rich Indigenous heritage and delivering cultural, economic, social and environmental benefits to the community and visitors.  
“The circuit is designed to be inclusive and inspire people of all abilities to be more active; locals will be encouraged to use the circuit as part of their regular exercise routine, while visitors will be enticed to extend their visit and explore more of Lakes Entrance’s and East Gippsland attractions.”
East Gippsland Shire Council mayor, Cr Mendy Urie, said the funding would accelerate development on projects the Council had already identified as high priorities.
“We welcome the funding announcement because it allows council to bring forward projects we had already part funded or secured grants from other sources,” she said.
“These initiatives will support the social, economic and cultural life of East Gippsland and enhance our region as a place to live, invest in and visit year round,” Cr Urie said.

IMAGE: Lakes Entrance Action and Development Association president, Bruce Hurley, Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation general manager, Grattan Mullett, and Federal MP for Gippsland, Darren Chester, discussing plans for the Krautungalung Walk, which received $2.2 million in Federal Government funding through the Regional Recovery Partnerships program last Friday.


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