Indigo Shire's $1.8m plans to bring wine tourists to Rutherglen

BIG PLANS: Senator Bridget Mckenzie, Cr Bernard Gaffney, Mayor James Ternary, Cr Barbara Murdoch and Indi candidate Marty Corboy.

BIG PLANS: Senator Bridget Mckenzie, Cr Bernard Gaffney, Mayor James Ternary, Cr Barbara Murdoch and Indi candidate Marty Corboy.

The first works as part of Rutherglen’s $1.8 million revitalisation project will begin in just two months.

The project was confirmed in December when Indigo Shire won $900,000 in federal funding from the national stronger region’s fund.

When complete, the town will have new pathways, trees, street furniture and car parks to transform Rutherglen into a premiere wine destination for tourists.

Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie and Indi candidate Marty Corboy visited the region on Wednesday to talk about the plan for Rutherglen’s future.

Senator McKenzie said the new streetscape would allow wineries to promote themselves as more than just somewhere for tourists to go once a year for the Winery Walkabout.

“It’s not sexy when you talk about roads and car parks, but it’s necessary,” she said.

“It helps boost it as a tourist destination.”

The construction work was estimated to create 30 jobs, entice 22,000 new tourists per year and $900,000 in tourist money annually.

Indigo Shire executive officer Gerry Smith said the council expected to start digging in March and have the project completed by June 2018.

He said council was yet to put out any tenders.

The Rutherglen project took two months for a team to create and was successful in federal funding over other North East submissions, such as Wangaratta’s aquatic strategy and turf club works.

“We devoted quite an effort into this,” Mr Smith said.

Lake King will be another feature of the redevelopment and receive a complete remodel as well as a 150-metre path into town.

Senator McKenzie said it was important councils and independent groups, like the Rutherglen Recreation Reserve committee, which contributed $49,000, also helped fund projects.

“You want to spend it somewhere where there is a larger buy in,” she said.

“I’m confident the minister will fund more projects in round three than in round two.”

Senator McKenzie also visited Wodonga’s Logic estate, funded in round one, and will head to Benalla Airport on Thursday.

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