A NEW cycling hub was one of several projects announced by the state government in Wangaratta yesterday.
Deputy Premier Peter Ryan announced funding for the new centre at Merriwa Park, which will include a shower, toilet and storage facilities, and money to plan for the growth of Wangaratta’s central business district.
Funding to improve the Soldier’s Memorial Square at Myrtleford was also announced.
Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy said the bike hub would be a “one-stop shop for cyclists”, with the building to open early next year.
“You look at the Rural City of Wangaratta and the Alpine Shire, cycling contributed to more than 10 per cent of tourism and events in town,” he said.
The state government announced $400,000 for the project, with a further $100,000 from council.
Mr McCurdy said the public would be invited to have input into the city centre’s master plan.
“It will look at the next 15 to 20 years of growth,” he said.
“We need to provide the framework so small businesses can get on and do business.”
Jamie McCaffrey, who is standing against Mr McCurdy in the new seat of Ovens Valley at November’s state election, for the Greens, said he supported the government’s funding of the projects.
However, he questioned the timing of yesterday’s announcement.
“We’re supportive of increased funding for these sorts of things in regional Victoria and we’re particularly enthusiastic about the cycling hub,” he said.
“But we would like to see additional resources in regional Victoria in a more structured way.
“We see an announcement timed to maximise electoral benefits.”