Raymond Island’s Koala Trail & Discovery Experience is getting a facelift, with Stage 1 of a project to revitalise and improve the visitor experience now underway.
Works at the Ferry Park on the island will continue until the end of June.
Improvements will include:
· An easy-to-navigate gateway trail to the Koala Trail
· Improved Indigenous interpretation and cultural education
· Safer pedestrian access
· Upgraded amenities (including accessible toilet and parents’ room upgrades)
· New seating and water stations
· New signage for ferry parking in Paynesville (to help cut vehicle numbers on the ferry and island)
East Gippsland Shire Council Mayor Mark Reeves said he is thrilled to see the project underway and activity at the site.
“This is a very much a community-led project, so it’s pleasing to see that hard work and advocacy has paid off,” Cr Reeves said.
“Raymond Island offers some of the nation’s best koala-spotting and it’s already a popular attraction with tourists and locals alike. This work will let us grow visitor numbers in an environmentally and socially sensitive way.
“The upgrades will also facilitate economic growth in Paynesville. We’ll see increased expenditure by visitors and increased employment opportunities, including opportunities in eco-tourism, environmental management and education,” Cr Reeves said.
The project will be delivered by Council in conjunction with local volunteers, state government agencies and the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation.
Council has also been working closely with Parks Victoria, DELWP, the Koala Island Foundation, Paynesville Business and Tourism Association, Raymond Island Community Association, Raymond Island Sustainability Association and Raymond Island Landcare.
The $442,000 project is co-funded under the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program and Council’s 2021-22 Capital Works Program.