Funding reallocation paves the way for new wildlife walk
April 20, 2018

A community project to develop a wildlife walk at Kennett River moved a step closer when Colac Otway Shire Councillors agreed to reallocate funds to the venture at the April Ordinary Council meeting Wednesday.

Councillors approved the reallocation of $8000 originally provided for the Kennett River Tourism and Traffic Management Plan under Council’s Small Town Improvement Program in 2017/18.

Mayor Joe McCracken said the reallocation had been made possible by a saving Council had achieved through a State Government contribution.

“Council secured a VicRoads contribution for the tourism and traffic management plan project, which meant $10,000 of Council’s budget allocation wasn’t required,” he said.

“The Kennett River Association requested that funds be transferred to their new Kennett River Wildlife Walk project and Council has supported that with $8000 of the $10,000 savings reallocated to the Wildlife Walk project – along with the carry-over of the remaining $2000 for new community projects in 2018/19.”

Cr McCracken said the community group had secured Federal Government funding of $20,000 for the wildlife walk and a further $12,000 from other sources towards matching the grant dollar-for-dollar as required.

“By reallocating this $8000, the community has been able to secure its $20,000 to match the Federal Government’s $20,000 which means the new $40,000 wildlife walk project can move forward,” he said.

“This will be another great outcome for the Kennett River community and its many visitors who will also be able to enjoy the wildlife walk experience.”

The Kennett River Wildlife Walk aims to provide an educational experience for visitors and includes the construction and installation of interpretive signage and park furniture along the river walk.

Cr McCracken said the location for the walk was managed for the Crown by the Otway Coast Committee (OCC), which had given provisional consent for the project.

“Over the coming weeks the Kennett River Association will apply for formal consent from the OCC and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning before works can begin,” he said.

Councillors also agreed to reallocate $7000 set aside for the Apollo Bay Memorial Options Plan.

Due to Vic Roads major upgrades to the Great Ocean Road, which include the intersection that accommodates the memorial, the Apollo Bay RSL requested the funds be carried forward to the 2018/19 financial year when they could be used for site upgrades after the intersection works were completed.


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