Connecting two of Bass Coast’s key residential and commercial towns, Inverloch and Wonthaggi, this new off road shared path will provide greater active recreation and commuter links, playing a critical role in the health and wellbeing of the community.
A 14km inland route, this pathway features attractions along the way such as wetlands and native vegetation which provide habitat to wildlife and glimpses of the Bass Coast. This pathway enhances the current bio-link corridor which connects pockets of native vegetation. As part of this project we will be undertaking revegetation works in existing cleared areas.
This pathway connects to a much greater off-road shared pathway link extending from Inverloch to Cowes and in future will form part of the Gippsland Odyssey, a 700km path linking Gippsland. Furthermore, the network of trails will also link to the Mornington Peninsula with a quick trip on the Phillip Island to Stony Point ferry.
- New pathway responds to community demand with walking as the most popular activity within the Shire as identified in Active Bass Coast Strategy 2018-28 and 2021-25 Council Plan engagement.
- Safe off-road pathway which has the potential to attract more women, children and senior Victorians to cycle and walk more often.
- Free and easily accessible, helping to improve the health, wellbeing and lifestyle of the community. Increases physical activity.
- Pathways provide great opportunity for people with high levels of disadvantage as they are free to use, always open and do not require formal membership or specialised equipment. They are also a conduit to increased social interaction.
- Responds to the needs of a growing population.
- The Trail will also create a new nature based tourism visitor attraction, providing access to the unique experience of walking and cycling in Bass Coast.
- Encourages an appreciation for the natural environment.
- Supports biodiversity
- The REMPLAN Impact Summary Report identified this project will create 31 jobs and generate $14.54 million in direct economic benefit to the region in the construction of the path.
The Wonthaggi to Inverloch path alignment originates from Bass Coast’s Aspirational Network Pathways Plan which was created as a result of community workshops held in 2015 and was adopted by Council in 2016.
Engagement has also been undertaken as part of the Active Bass Coast Plan and the latest Council Plan which highlighted walking and cycling as one of the shire’s most popular activities.
Shared pathways also align with objectives in the Bass Coast Climate Change Action Plan and the Healthy Communities Plan 2021-2025.
Neighbouring residents have been engaged as part of the detailed design stage of this pathway and will continue to be engaged throughout the project.
The Wonthaggi to Inverloch pathway is estimated to cost $7.7million. Council has secured a grant from the Growing Suburbs Fund of $3 million. Council will fund the remaining $4.4 million from allocated funds as highlighted in Council's Long Term Financial Plan.
This project is currently sourcing permits and approvals. Construction is expected to start in 2023.