Planning for Halls Gap growth
Published on 16 January 2018
Increased pedestrian connectivity, improved car parking options and better access to the area’s famed walking trails will form part of Northern Grampians Shire Council’s plans to prepare Halls Gap for projected growth associated with the Grampians Peaks Trail project.
Following a visit from Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford, last week, Northern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Cr Tony Driscoll said Council’s Halls Gap Master Plan will ensure the renowned tourist village is well-equipped for the projected spike in tourism activity as the 159 kilometre Grampians Peaks Trail nears completion.
“The Grampians Region has a significant destination profile with both national and international tourists, with Halls Gap among the most tourism-focused villages in the region - Halls Gap is considered a primary tourist hub and among one of the key drivers in the regional economy,” Cr Driscoll said.
“To help lift Halls Gap to world class tourist village status and to ensure that Halls Gaps is prepared for the completion of the Grampians Peaks Trail Northern Grampians Shire Council adopted the Halls Gap Master Plan for Commercial Investment and Public Land Development in 2016.
“The Master Plan identifies a number of initiatives for the town in the areas of events and attractions, services and development, the Grampians Peaks Trail and Public Open Space.”
Cr Driscoll said much of the master plan’s focus would fall on Halls Gap’s village centre with the aim of increasing pedestrian access to local businesses and amenities.
“The project will focus on creating a more pedestrian focused village centre.The plan will also ensure that the best location for the Grampians Peak Trailhead is chosen and will address car parking needs associated with the Grampians Peak Trail.”
Some local businesses are already reaping the benefits of the Peaks Trail project, including Stawell manufacturing firm, CKS Engineering, which won the contract to produce 200 steel mesh panels, set to be used for an elevated section of the $29 million Grampians Peaks Trail.
“It’s good to see local contractors being used as part of a major project,” CKS Managing Director Tom Hedges said.
“It gives our business more buying power in terms of purchasing materials, it provides work for our employees and it means that the money stays in town, which only benefits our region.”
The Grampians Peak Trail, which is jointly funded by both the State and Federal Governments, will stretch from Mt Zero to Dunkeld, will offer hikers the chance to experience the full wonder of the Grampians via a full two-week hike, overnight camping and day hikes.