FINALLY, some good news for our town.
The Victorian state government and Campaspe Shire have invested $268,500 into the revitalisation of the Moore Street precinct and the Skate Park Reserve.
Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp was on hand at the announcement on Friday, along with councillor Leigh Wilson and economic and community development general manager Keith Oberin.
The government will pitch in $151,000 while the shire will contribute $117,500 through regional development.
In Moore St between Fraser and Pascoe streets, a footpath with road crossing points and information signage will be constructed in the median strip on the east side of the road.
‘‘This will allow locals and tourists to wander through the mural art precinct, improving connectivity and access,’’ Cr Wilson said.
‘‘The parking bay in the median strip, near Oppy’s statue, will be removed, returning the area to grass.’’
Other works include:
■Removal of a redundant car park to aid traffic flow towards the market reserve and CBD
■Landscaping and irrigation
■Installation of street furniture
■Construction of access paths
■Improvements to the heritage-listed bullring
‘‘This project will support a renewed sense of community pride and improved business confidence, which is what Rochester needs now during this time of transition,’’ Mr Gepp said.
‘‘The revitalisation of the Market Reserve will create an attractive space for locals and visitors to enjoy and help the Rochester Market grow into the future.’’
Construction is expected to create eight full-time jobs in the town over a three-month period.
Committee for Rochester (C4R) chair Peter Anderson said, ‘‘As chair of C4R I was delighted to welcome Mark Gepp MP to Rochester for the funding announcement in Moore Street, as it was here on May 29, 1994 at the unveiling of this magnificent life-size bronze statue of Sir Hubert Opperman in front of 5,000 people, that many of the seeds were planted in people’s minds to build on the importance the statue and Opperman Sports Museum would bring to the Rochester community.
‘‘The funding will enable the C4R sub-committee lead by John Foster and David Gilbert to work with local trades people to enhance this area by providing a suitable pathway, underground watering system from the Oppy statue approximately 200m down to the first mural and linking all the features, such as the recently refurbished Old Court House and the magnificent wooden carved statues at the main entrance to REDHS,’’ he said.
Off-street parking in Moore St is in the master plan, as are new toilets and BBQ facilities.
Discussions are underway with Vic Roads for new curb and channelling and parking bays for caravans and larger vehicles on the east side on the Northern Hwy.
The detailed design for the projects is well underway, with construction expected to start in May and be completed by mid-November.