Items filtered by date: November 2019

Volunteer committee members of East Gippsland Rail Trail Committee of Management have been busy over the past 18 months securing funding for a range of projects on the trail.

Two projects of interest to Orbost and district residents will be the design and installation of new signage for the length of the trail (Bairnsdale to Orbost), funded through Regional Development Victoria’s Community Capacity Building Program, together with funding from East Gippsland Shire Council, and the recently constructed shelter at Simpsons Creek, funded through East Gippsland Shire Council’s Drought Relief Community Facilities Infrastructure Fund.

The next project on the committee’s list is upgrades to the Nowa Nowa to Orbost section of the trail for which funding opportunities are currently being pursued.

Image: New way finding signs have been installed at all intersections for the entire length of the trail.

Published in News
Wednesday November 20, 2019

Rail trail ready

A $100,000 upgrade of the East Gippsland Rail Trail has been completed in time for the busy summer holiday period thanks to a Federal Government grant.

Federal member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, has congratulated the rail trail committee for moving quickly to secure local contractor, Cranes Asphalting and Bitumen Sealing, to complete the works.

“The volunteers at East Gippsland Rail Trail do a great job upgrading and maintaining facilities for the benefit of locals and visitors to the region,” Mr Chester said.

“I’m committed to providing more opportunities for Gippslanders to enjoy active lifestyles and projects like the rail trail provide significant social and economic benefits to our region.

“I’m working to secure more funding for further improvements to local trails, walking paths and mountain bike tracks.”

East Gippsland Rail Trail committee member, Al Campbell, said the popular trail needed constant work to meet the expectations of user groups.

“It’s an iconic trail with some outstanding features along the route from Bairnsdale to Orbost, via Bruthen,” Mr Campbell said.

“This latest upgrade is on top of the new signage we have installed along with regular maintenance to improve the experience for all trail users.

“We are keen to secure further funding for maintenance and capital works that will allow more people to enjoy our trail, stay the night and boost the local economy.”

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the trail was an important part of the visitor economy in East Gippsland.

“Providing more opportunities for visitors to explore our magnificent region is critical for the growth in tourism and the jobs it can provide,” Mr Bull said.

“Well done to all the volunteers for hiring a local firm to complete this upgrade and providing an asset that encourages healthy, active lifestyles for walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders.”

Image: Local MPs Tim Bull and Darren Chester, East Gippsland Rail Trail committee of managementʼs Al Campbell and Gaynor Rettino, and Cranes Asphalting and Bitumen Sealing civil construction manager, Chris Settle.

Published in News
Tuesday November 19, 2019

Stratford Primary School

One of the highlights of this year at Stratford Primary School involved a group of Grade 5 & 6 students participating in a 3 day, 2 night bike riding experience along the East Gippsland Rail Trail

The ride began at Howitt Park in Bairnsdale and students rode their bikes along the rail trail for approximately 28km. Once they got to the Caravan Park in Bruthen, they pitched their tents and swags, checked their bikes and then did some exploring and checked out the area around the football ground. During the night it rained just a little and by the time it was morning, the tents and swags were covered with a light layer of ice!

After breakfast, which was eaten inside the camp kitchen with the fire once again providing warmth, all the gear was packed into the trailers. The riders then set off on day 2 of their ride of 27kms. It was a long, slow incline out of Bruthen – 8km of it! testing the endurance of all riders. The scenery was superb, and the rail trail was in excellent condition. The trestle bridges were absolutely amazing. Lunch was eaten at the Stony Creek trestle bridge just before Nowa Nowa. After some quite steep descents and ascents, the riders arrived at the Mingling Waters Camp Ground at Nowa Nowa and once again set up swags and tents.

Day 3 saw the riders embark on a 39km ride to Orbost. Sore muscles, tender backsides and lower than usual energy levels did not stop the enthusiasm and excitement. Once again the bike trail was in good condition, a little stony in parts with quite a lot of long and steady climbs with some exhilarating declines. Upon arriving in Orbost, it was wonderful to see the faces of parents and friends who were ready to collect the riders and take them home.

It was a wonderful ride. An excellent activity for school groups to be involved with. Not only did it test the endurance of the riders and their commitment, it also relied on supporting, encouraging and helping others, and working together to achieve a common goal.

This ride could not have happened without the support of our Chief Cook – Margaret, our catering officer – Emma, our mechanic – Dwayne, the wonderful adults/teachers who volunteered to ride with the team – Craig, Bronwyn, Keith, David and Joan. And most of all, the riders who completed this awesome journey – Katie, Amy, Cassie, Declan, Harry, Lochie, Bailey, Charlie and Daniel.

Joan Keil

Published in News