Visitors to the regional NSW city of Goulburn could take a spin on a new 54km cycling and walking trail or enjoy a visit to a Japanese garden with waterfalls and a koi pond sooner rather than later.
Goulburn Mulwaree Council is hoping to increase local tourism activities and attractions by submitting three applications for round five of the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.
The council and its neighbouring Upper Lachlan Shire Council will apply to establish the trail, estimated to cost $7.1 million, along the disused railway corridor between Goulburn and Crookwell.
According to a feasibility study, the rail trail would attract up to 30,000 new day-trippers to the region per year, who would inject an additional $9.4 million dollars into the local economy.
Goulburn Mulwaree Council will also apply to complete the Shibetsu Garden in Victoria Park, and build a new community centre somewhere in the city.
“These are three fantastic projects that have been longer-term initiatives of this council, and we are hopeful of gaining funding to get them underway,” said Goulburn Mulwaree Council Mayor Bob Kirk.
“The Shibetsu Garden and rail trail would attract visitation from right around NSW and the country, in my opinion, while the community centre is an incredibly important project for our local community.”
The first stage of the Shibetsu Garden was completed in November 2019 and jointly opened by Mayor Kirk and Shibetsu Mayor Yuji Makino to mark the 20th anniversary of the sister city relationship between the Japanese city and Goulburn.
Federal Government Funds would be used to establish more pathways, plantings, gazebos, picnic areas, small waterfalls and a koi pond in the garden, which is inspired by the Japanese city. These are expected to cost $500,000 and council is applying for half of that from the government.
A new Goulburn Community Centre would cater to many community organisations, along with the council’s youth programs and leisure link services for people with physical or intellectual disabilities.
Council has committed $2 million to the centre and is seeking the same amount of funding from the Federal Government.
Applications to the Building Better Regions Fund close on 5 March.