Blazing new trail

Deputy mayor Cr Graeme Moore, Cr Tammy Radford, Pakenham MP Emma Vulin, mayor Cr Jack Kowarzik and Cr Collin Ross. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS 374649_02

Fitness fans, dog walkers and cyclists in Cardinia can now enjoy a stunning new pedestrian and bicycle path in Officer.

Pakenham MP Emma Vulin this week visited the Heatherbrae Recreation Reserve to officially open the Princes Highway Trail, just in time for the warmer weather.

“The Princes Highway Trail is a fantastic asset for Cardinia, linking people with the facilities they need to lead healthy and active lifestyles while enjoying our beautiful environment,” she said.

“I’m so pleased to see another vital Growing Suburbs Fund project completed – creating jobs and delivering the facilities communities need to thrive.”

The new 2.6 km sealed path provides connections between Beaconsfield, Officer and Pakenham, giving walkers and cyclists better access to the regional trails along Deep Creek, Kennedy Creek, Toomuc Creek,

Gum Scrub Creek and Cardinia Creek.

The completed shared pathway network runs from Beaconsfield to Racecourse Road in Pakenham and gives local people access to important community, commercial and recreational facilities as well as opportunities to get active.

Ms Vulin was joined at the opening by Cardinia Shire councillors Tammy Radford, Colin Ross, deputy mayor Graeme Moore and mayor Jack Kowarzik.

“We welcome this investment as it makes walking and cycling safer and more accessible between Officer and Pakenham,” Mr Kowarzik said.

“The new trail will encourage more people to get outdoors and stay active, making our community healthier and more liveable.”

The $1.98 million project received a $990,000 contribution from the State Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund, with an additional investment of $990,000 from Cardinia Shire Council.

The Growing Suburbs Fund is a $435 million investment over nine years into 346 critical local infrastructure in Melbourne’s diverse and fast-growing outer suburbs.

Since 2015, in the Cardinia Shire area alone, the Growing Suburbs Fund has invested more than $35 million in 22 projects, including the Cardinia Cultural Centre Redevelopment, the Kooweerup Bowls and

Community Hub construction and the Upper Beaconsfield Community, Sport and Scout Pavilion project.

Through its 2023-24 Budget, the State Government is investing another $10 million in the Growing Suburbs Fund to support the delivery of critical local infrastructure in Melbourne’s fastest-growing communities, as part of an $18.9 million investment to support suburbs across the city with a range of initiatives.

For more information on the Growing Suburbs Fund, visit