More than $5 million in support from the federal government will provide a new path throughout the renowned Rutherglen wine region.
The construction of a 48 kilometre Rutherglen Wine, Walk, Cycle Trail is among five projects in North East Victoria to be aided by $9.2 million from the Building Better Regions Fund.
It will include a town loop, suitable to all abilities and a series of longer options to take in Wahgunyah, Lake Moodemere and the Murray River, as well as several cellar door wineries.
Indigo Shire mayor Jenny O'Connor said the announcement of funds was a fantastic result for Rutherglen and its surrounding communities.
"This investment will play a critical role in boosting our local economy, helping it to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and the 2019-20 bushfires," she said.
"In the longer term, this new infrastructure will draw tourists to our region for many years to come.
"The Rutherglen Wine, Walk, Cycle Trail provides the opportunity to expand our shire's offering of walking and cycle tourism and recreation.
"It also provides a link from the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail to selected wineries, food producers, cafes and restaurants of interest which are not currently accessible via the existing trail."
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Ms O'Connor added council was extremely grateful to the federal government, which recognised the benefits the project would bring to the North East and made it a reality.
"I also want to acknowledge the staff who put together an outstanding business case and to all the local businesses who've supported this concept since its inception," she said.
Other projects within Indi included improved access to the Mount Hotham alpine gateway, the construction of an early intervention facility for autistic children in Mansfield, a series of workshops, group mentoring and a workbook for environment and sustainability groups, as well as a leadership program to emerging rural leaders.
Victorian Senator Bridget McKenzie said the government had delivered the services and infrastructure the communities deserved.
"We are backing these projects so local residents have the facilities for the future, while creating jobs to boost economic recovery," she said.
"I have worked closely with local councils and community groups. It's great to be part of a government that will listen to and deliver for our community."
Under round five of the Building Better Regions Fund, the government has provided almost $300 million to support 295 projects across regional Australia.
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