Funding boosts new trails plan

Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
The Bald Head Walk Trail near Albany.
Camera IconThe Bald Head Walk Trail near Albany. Credit: Lars Schwarzenberg

A funding boost to the Great Southern Regional Trails Master Plan means the region is one step closer to a highly anticipated network of new trails.

The first round of the plan is complete, after community consultation workshops with 11 local governments led to more than 220 trail ideas.

Great Southern Centre for Outdoor Excellence submitted a background report last month outlining the results of the consultation.

Now, with a further $129,482 funding from the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, the ideas will be prioritised and made into concept plans

GSCORE executive director Lenore Lyons said the organisation was prioritising the list and cutting it down to between 30 and 40 suitable ideas.

“We have just contracted three expert consultants, who will be developing their detailed trail plans for us in the next couple of months,” she said.

“The funding that we have just received through the BBRF will enable us the identify three of those trail ideas to develop into concept plans.

“Essentially, we are taking what is a good idea and creating a much more detailed analysis of the feasibility, trail corridors, where it could potentially go, what kind of trail, activity and what grade it would suit.

“You get a much more detailed picture of where it would go and what we need to do to make it happen, so we are then in a position to apply for funding to construct.”

A draft of the entire master plan is expected to be completed in September.

She said the main decision-making body for the trails plan was a project management executive group with representation from local government and State Government agencies.

“Once the master plan is finished, we will go back to them and say this is what the analysis has shown us and recommended in terms of our priorities,” she said.

“They will then look at that and make a final determination of what they think those priorities are.”

The trails background report has gone to all funding stakeholders, featuring an audit of every existing trail in the region.

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