The Walhalla Goldfields Railway will be improved, creating 15 new jobs and giving more people the opportunity to experience the best of everything Gippsland has to offer, thanks to funding provided by the Andrews Labor Government.
In the Latrobe Valley today, Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford and Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing announced the $300,000 grant to help bring more visitors to Gippsland, boosting the local economy.
Walhalla Goldfields Railway will use the grant to restore and convert a 1926 Melbourne tram into a self-propelled rail carriage, enhancing the historical tourist experience.
The 1926 tram body will be fitted with a rail motor and the track will undergo infrastructure upgrades to improve the range of services available. For the first time, the railway will be able to operate seven days a week.
The project also includes the construction of a storage facility, ensuring long term security and protection from the elements.
Walhalla Goldfields Railway is a not-for-profit organisation whose dedicated volunteers have completely rebuilt the railway over the last 25 years. The organisation is providing the remaining $150,000 to deliver the project.
It is estimated the project will increase the number of visitors by more than 15,000 in the long term and increase the amount spent on local businesses from $2.4 million to $3.3 million per year.
The Labor Government’s flagship Regional Tourism and Infrastructure Fund is investing in growing the visitor economy across regional Victoria with the development of iconic regional tourism projects that create world-class tourism experiences and bring more people to our thriving regions.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“This upgrade is great for tourists and for jobs. It boosts tourism in Gippsland and takes advantage of the skills of people in the Latrobe Valley with the work on the tram bodies being done right here at Yallourn.”
“The Walhalla Goldfields Railway will soon be able to run every day of the week – bringing more tourists to this iconic region every day, who will spend more money at local businesses in Walhalla and throughout the Valley.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren
“Tourism has a bright future in Gippsland, that’s why we’re supporting our hard working operators to bring even more visitors to the region and create new jobs.”
Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“Walhalla’s rail experience is one of Gippsland’s many tourist gems. By supporting our visitor economy, the Andrews Labor Government is helping to make our region an even better place for visitors from around Victoria, and around the world.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020