26 Apr 2013

The Mt Buller Mt Stirling EPIC Mountain Bike Trail Project today received a significant funding injection, with the announcement that the Victorian Coalition Government will provide $375,000 toward the project which looks set to become Australia’s first International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) EPIC mountain bike trail.

The project is a partnership between the Australian Alps National Landscape Committee Inc, Mt Buller Mt Stirling Resort Management and the Australian Government through the T-QUAL Strategic Tourism Investment Grants program, and involves the construction of a 40.39km trail that will offer visitors to the region a long distance, cross-country descending ride, providing stunning views across the Victorian High Country.

Announcing the funding on behalf of Deputy Premier Peter Ryan this morning at Mirimbah Park, Member for Benalla Bill Sykes said the project would provide a boost to the local economy and contribute to the year-round tourism of the region.

“Showcasing the magnificence of Victoria’s alpine region’s countryside, the new trail will provide new jobs and boost the local economy by increasing tourist and business opportunities,” Dr Sykes said.

“New jobs will be created during the construction stage and, once completed, the region’s hospitality, tourism and other related industries like bicycle hire, repair and maintenance as well as outdoor lifestyle retail businesses will also provide further employment opportunities.”

Mr Ryan said the EPIC Mountain Bike Experience Project was a great example of all levels of government working with the local community to support the growth and development of the Victorian High Country. “The Coalition Government is pleased to be the major funding provider, with $350,000 from our $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, which was created to drive regional development across the state, providing better infrastructure, facilities and services,” Mr Ryan said.

“Our funding is complemented by the Federal Government ($125,000), Mansfield Shire Council ($25,000) and Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Resort Management Board ($225,000).

“The Coalition Government is committed to investing in regional Victoria to create prosperity, job opportunities, economic and social resilience and better quality of life.”

Representing the Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board at today’s announcement, deputy chairman Dean Belle recognised the contribution from government as well as the partnership behind the project. “It is very exciting to be involved in a project of this scale and we are grateful of the assistance provided by Regional Development Victoria’s Regional Growth Fund to support this important development that will benefit the entire region. It has been the vision of Resort Management to establish Mt Buller as the number one mountain bike destination in Victoria, if not Australia, and to have the support of government to help us achieve this vision is something we are very appreciative of.

“This project is a partnership that requires the input and teamwork of a number of land managers, who I would like to extend a thank you to for all their hard work in ensuring this is a project that has gotten off the ground. Resort Management has worked in conjunction with the Department of Sustainability and Environment and Parks Victoria throughout the lengthy planning process, and getting to this stage of the project would not have been possible without this collaboration.”

Construction of the EPIC Mountain Bike Trail will begin in December 2013. For further information on Mt Buller’s comprehensive network of trails, visit mtbuller.com.au.