THE Federal and Victorian Governments last week unveiled an overview of the $26.05 million Warragul Railway Station Precinct plan, which will provide a significant upgrade to the station precinct and aim to encourage private sector investment in the Warragul CBD.
Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Edward O'Donohue, on behalf of the Victorian Minister for Public Transport, Terry Mulder, joined Federal Minister for Regional Development, Simon Crean and Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood and said planning work is well underway for the project.
The precinct upgrade includes:
- 200 additional car parking spaces for train commuters;
- A new bus interchange;
- A new pedestrian footbridge; and
- A road underpass linking Normanby Place to Alfred Street.
Mr Crean announced the Federal Government will invest $3.35 million in the project. The Victorian Coalition Government, who announced the Warragul Station Precinct project as an election commitment in 2010, is investing $22.7 million in the project.
Mr O'Donohue said tenders are expected to be called in the coming weeks, with construction to start later this year. The project is scheduled for completion in 2014.
Mr Crean said the Federal Government's $3.35 million investment in the project was in line with the Latrobe Valley Transition Committee's report and was an important investment in the economic diversification of the region.
"This project at Warragul is built on a strong investment partnership between all levels of government and will strengthen and diversify the economic base of not only Warragul but the entire Latrobe Valley," Mr Crean said.
"The railway station precinct has the potential to unlock $150 million in private sector investment within the Warragul CBD, including commercial, retail and apartment developments in the pipeline and generate 1,110 jobs and $30 million every year in wages."
Mr Crean said the Federal Government's $3.35 million investment in the railway station precinct consists of $2.6 million to integrate the precinct into the Warragul CBD and unlock the full economic and employment potential of the rapidly growing regional area.
The remaining $750,000 will be used for the transformation of the heritage railway goods shed into a multi-purpose and creative space tourism centre, in order to help develop the tourism base of the area.
"The restored goods shed will accommodate a range of community uses, including an information centre showcasing local attractions, activities and produce in and around Baw Baw Shire," Mr Crean said.
The Minister said the Warragul project builds on the work by Federal Energy and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson and Federal Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Minister Greg Combet to support the region in its transition to a clean energy future.
"The project joins the dots between being a local priority, leveraging other funding sources and sustaining the economic and social future of the region, and demonstrates the Federal Government's commitment to diversification in the Latrobe Valley," Mr Crean said.