media releases | July 31, 2018
Leader of The Nationals heads to Halls Gap
The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy and Leader of The Nationals, Hon. Peter Walsh visited Halls Gap yesterday to discuss opportunities to maximise tourism and economic growth in the Grampians.
Ms Kealy said that tourism in the Grampians was continuing to grow as more and more people discover the amazing beauty of the Park and we need to support this with key investments to promote innovative business opportunities and development in the Gap.
Halls Gap is the main tourist hub in the Grampians region, generating in excess of $224 million annually for local businesses and the broader community.
Following community feedback on how the region can better support tourists and therefore capture the tourism dollar, Northern Grampians Shire Council and Grampians Tourism have developed an Activation Plan to grow Halls Gap’s reputation as a world-class tourist destination.
The Council is seeking $2.75 million from both Federal and State Governments towards the $8 million project, which includes unlocking underutilised commercial land in Heath Street for future development and easing congestion in the village centre by building a new bridge over Stoney Creek. This would connect Heath Street with Grampians Road, creating a major arterial road and providing a direct route for vehicles travelling through Halls Gap.
“During peak periods, Grampians Road in Halls Gap is often chaotic with children racing across the road to get to the ice cream shop and drivers distracted by the beauty of the mountains,” Ms Kealy said.
“It makes sense that Halls Gap has a second main thoroughfare across Stony Creek at Heath Street to preserve the peaceful feel of the village centre and for pedestrian safety.
Mr Walsh said the proposed development would provide economic benefits to the region, both during the construction phase and when completed.
“The Halls Gap Activation Plan estimates the project will stimulate $25 million of additional private investment in Halls Gap and create over 130 new jobs for the Grampians Region over the next 10 years,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Nationals believe in backing projects that local communities have identified as priorities and we agree the opportunities identified in the Activation Plan will help grow Halls Gap to build on its reputation as a world-class tourist destination.”
Mr Walsh called on the Andrews Labor Government to recognise the Activation Plan as a priority project and provide the $2.75 million requested by Council to enable the plan to proceed.
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