The Goulburn Mulwaree Council has put a strong focus on increasing tourism offerings in the region, after confirming three applications to be put forward for round five of the Building Better Regions Fund.
A joint application with the Upper Lachlan Shire Council for the Goulburn to Crookwell Rail Trail will be put forward, along with an application to complete the Shibetsu Gardens in Victoria Park. The council will also apply for $2 million to build a new community centre, at a site to be determined.
Mayor Bob Kirk said the three projects were fantastic and had been longer term initiatives.
"We are hopeful of gaining funding to get them underway," he said.
"The Shibetsu Garden and Rail Trail would attract visitation from right around NSW and the country in my opinion, while the Community Centre is a an incredibly important project for our local community.
"I have long been a strong supporter of the Rail Trail, which will be a game changer for our local economy, attracting cyclists from all over the country who will visit and stay in our region and spend money that will help our local businesses create more jobs."
The first stage of the Shibetsu Gardens was completed in November 2019, and jointly opened by mayor Bob Kirk and Shibetsu mayor Yuji Makino to mark the 20th anniversary of the sister-city relationship. Completion of the project is estimated to cost $500,000, with the council applying for 50 per cent of this funding through the Building Better Regions Fund.
Funds would be utilised for further pathways, plantings, gazebos and picnic areas, with the highlight being construction of small waterfalls and a koi pond.
The Goulburn to Crookwell Rail Trail will create a 54 kilometre cycling and walking trail along the disused railway corridor between Goulburn and Crookwell. A feasibility study on the project estimates up to 30,000 new day trippers per year would visit the region to utilise the rail trail, while an additional $9.4 million dollars a year would be injected into to the economy.
The council will apply for $7.1 million for the Goulburn to Crookwell Rail Trail, with this funding to be subject to receiving the balance of the 50% from the NSW Government. It is noted that no formal application has been made to the NSW Government at this time.
The Goulburn Community Centre would cater to many community organisations, along with the council's youth programs and leisure link services for people with physical or intellectual disabilities. The council has committed to $2 million for the project, and is seeking the same amount of funding from the Federal Government. A site for the centre is still to be determined.
Applications to the Federal Government Building Better Regions Fund close on March 5.