MINISTER for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government Simon Crean has announced $3.35 million in federal funding for the Warragul Station Precinct upgrade.
Video: Minister for Regional Australia
Regional Development and Local Government Simon Crean interviewed by The Warragul Citizen.
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The money will compliment state and local government funding through projects to improve traffic management and pedestrian links on the planned road underpass and will see the relocation and restoration of the historic goods shed.
Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Edward O’Donohue said at the funding announcement this morning the project will go to tender in the coming weeks and construction is expected to start later this year.
Mr Crean told The Warragul Citizen the project received federal funding “because it stacked up.”
“It met the essential conditions of not just being based in Warragul, but its wider reach,” Mr Crean said.
Key players pose in front of the goods shed which will be moved and restored with funding from the Commonwealth Government.
From left: Baw Baw Mayor Murray Cook, Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Edward O’Donohue, Minister for Regional Australia Regional Development and Local Government Simon Crean, Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood.
Click for larger version. Image by author.
“It was a [State Government, local government and] community-driven initiative that had regard to where they wanted to take their city [and] where they understood the population growth that’s happening here.”
Mr Crean said those involved in the project believed improvements to the station would flow on to the commercial sector.
“Already we’re seeing $150 million in commercial development off the back of it,” Mr Crean said.
“It’s not just the location itself that matters, it’s the reach of what the amenity does and what it services in the wider region.
“This is a region of great opportunity: because it is such a diverse economic base in the first instance, what we’ve got to do is play to the strengths [and] see what we can do to assist them.”
Mr Crean said the restoration of the historic goods shed could enhance local arts projects and the wider community.
“If you look at the shed that’s being relocated with our money, it has the potential to become quite a heritage precinct; it is a heritage building in its own right but… its functions [are] still to be determined,” Mr Crean said.
“I think it’s in the interests of this city to understand the importance of its heritage and see what it can do to reinforce that and enrich itself through the arts.
“I have seen many communities remake themselves through creativity and design and the arts as a focal point.”