Mountain bike riders will have a new word-class trail network to explore Harcourt and the Mount Alexander region thanks to a $1.99 million investment from the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford joined Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards in Harcourt today to announce the multi-million investment, which is a win for eager mountain bikers, local businesses and residents around Harcourt and the Goldfields track.
The international-standard bike park will create 57 jobs within five years, and open up a new tourism stream for the region.
There is an established mountain bike culture in the region and Mt Alexander is informally known as a place for riders to visit, but is in need of major upgrades to bring it up to standard to meet the growing interest.
The $1.99 million project will build 34 kilometres of single and multi-purpose, directional and bi-directional trails, with track grades to cater for all levels of users.
The trails will be well signposted and accessible by new connections to Harcourt, and the park will also provide a meeting point and toilets.
The project is expected to generate 25,000 visitors per year in 2018, and 100,000 per year within just five years.
Annual visitor spending is expected to reach $2.4 million in 2018 and up to $9.8 million after five years. The project is also projected to spark private sector investment in bike related services and the hospitality sector.
As visitation to the area increases along with demand for accommodation, new businesses will be established in the area to service the growing market.
The visitor economy is crucial to the future economic development of regional and rural Victoria with the sector contributing $11.5 billion to the regional economy and generating 114,400 jobs annually.
The Labor Government is supporting the project through its $500 million Regional Jobs and infrastructure Fund, which is making regional Victoria an even better place to live, work and visit.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“We’re delivering on our election commitment to invest in a mountain bike park for Harcourt. We know the impact this tourism infrastructure will have on the community and importantly, it will create 57 new jobs..”
“The new 34 kilometre trail network will be a world class attraction that builds on the popularity of the Goldfields Track and gives people yet another reason to explore regional Victoria.”
Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards
“We’re proud to back this project and put Mt Alexander on the map as a mountain bike destination of choice. It’s great news for locals and even better news for mountain bike enthusiasts.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020