Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Winton Wetlands master plan begins with help of local businesses

Two local businesses have been awarded projects by Winton Wetlands committee of management to begin stage one of its master plan.

July 11, 2014 3:13am

Landmark Construction Group director Nick Taylor, Member for Benalla Bill Sykes and Winton Wetlands chief executive Jim Grant look over the master plan for the Winton Wetlands visitor hub and cafe.

Two local businesses have been awarded substantial projects by the Winton Wetlands committee of management as stage one of its master plan gets under way.

Benalla company Landmark Construction Group will construct the $1.2million visitor hub and cafe, while Violet Town engineering firm Rural Works will undertake the survey, engineering, tender documentation and project management for the bike paths at Winton Wetlands.

Winton Wetlands chief executive Jim Grant said a lot of time had been invested into the planning and expectations of the hub.

‘‘The committee spent the time to make sure that the construction of the hub will fit the expectations of the community while offering a great business opportunity for potential business operators,’’ he said.

The hub will be a 380sqm single-storey facility complete with a cafe and function facilities and will be connected to a network of bike paths early next year.

Fifteen companies registered their interest, from which nine were selected to submit a tender.

‘‘We were pleased by the quality of the submissions and the local interest in the project. This interest has kept this work local and has provided a great opportunity to the regional economy and jobs,’’ Mr Grant said.

Landmark Construction Group director Nick Taylor said he had 13 people on the payroll and the project would have a strong focus on local subcontractors.

The construction is expected to begin next month and is due for completion in January.

The hub is part of the first stage of the Winton Wetlands @ Benalla Master Plan with the focus on the development of recreational facilities for local and regional communities, and includes the development and construction of infrastructure at key locations around the reserve.

The bike path project is also critical to stage one of the master plan. The proposed paths will link from Benalla via Nelson Rd through the wetlands, out onto Lake Mokoan Rd and the future visitor hub and cafe.

‘‘Stage one of the bike paths will offer a unique experience for cyclists, particularly in the very beautiful and relatively untouched areas in the south-west corner of the wetlands,’’ Mr Grant said.

‘‘The appointment of a local firm to manage this first stage will see the committee moving into the construction phase of the estimated $600000 bike track network sooner rather than later.’’

State Member for Benalla Bill Sykes said the two appointments were particularly pleasing because local businesses were involved and it marked the start of ground works at Winton Wetlands.

The construction tender, which will go out later in the year, will further contribute to the local economy.

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