THE group behind the idea for a bridge and new path in Tower Hill is ready to advance the project.
The Port Fairy to Warrnambool Rail Trail committee of management has been the driving force behind the push for a bridge and path to be built on the north-western slopes of the state game reserve.
It would connect the Koroit township to Tower Hill.
This would also mean a continuous link from the rail trail to Tower Hill, something pointed out by Member for Western Victoria James Purcell on Monday.
Mr Purcell is lobbying the state government for $20,000 funding to complete an engineering report into the viability of the project.
He has met with Treasurer Tim Pallas and is hopeful of a positive response to his funding request.
Rail trail committee of management secretary Ian Bodycoat is thrilled with the latest developments.
“The committee of management is extremely excited the idea to give a linkage from the rail trail to the information centre in Tower Hill is progressing,” Mr Bodycoat said.
“People in Koroit over the years have put forward ways of linking the town to Tower Hill so we are happy to be able to initiate the start of that conversation again.”
While the committee of management is busy carrying out maintenance and upgrades on the rail trail, Mr Bodycoat said it was prepared to add the task of bringing the bridge and track down the north-western side of Tower Hill to life to its hectic schedule.
“As soon as the engineering report is complete, we will be looking to do what we can to drive the project forward,” he said.
“That would be through our labour and also helping to find some funding sources.”
The bridge and new track idea has also been welcomed by the Friends of Tower Hill group.
The volunteer community group carries out regular maintenance and planting at Tower Hill.
A spokesperson for the Friends of Tower Hill group said the concept had merit.
“We have received some information about this and it does seem like a great concept,” the spokesperson said.
“The rail trail is very well used so it would be wonderful for Tower Hill to have a direct connection to it.
“The area of the lake where the foot bridge is proposed to go used to be water all year round but now most of the time it is land.
“I can’t see it having a negative impact on Tower Hill, as a group we are pretty flexible about what can happen.
“Tower Hill deserves as much recognition as it can get so we are happy to have a look at any ideas people may come up with.”