Barossa bike path bonanza

Article image - Barossa bike path bonanza Barossa Councillor David de Vries, Mathew Werfel from the Office of the Federal Member for Wakefield Nick Champion, Director Works and Engineering Michael Lange, and CEO David Morcom.

Visitors to the Barossa and Gawler regions will soon have the joy of riding, jogging or walking between Tanunda and Gawler, and the intermediate areas of Rowland Flat, Lyndoch and Gawler East, following receipt of a large Federal Government grant by the Barossa Council to construct a 27 kilometre long shared bicycle and walking path.

Barossa Council will receive $4.81 million from the Regional Development Australia funding of the five year Regional Development Australia Fund for the $5.44 million infrastructure project.

Barossa Council Mayor Brian Hurn said the creative and innovative project involved working with local landholders and consortium members the Town of Gawler, Orlando Wines, Lend Lease Communities (Australia) Ltd and Genesee & Wyoming Australia Pty Ltd.

"The project will have sustained economic development, community building, social and health benefits for the local communities." he said.

Brian Hurn was thrilled that its funding application was one of only 35 successful projects from the 550 applications received Australia wide in this first stage of the funding program and one of only six applications approved for South Australia.

The shared bicycle and walking path will run along the North Para River course and the Tanunda to Gawler rail corridor, with links to the Jacob's Creek Visitor Centre, the Novotel Barossa Valley Resort and the new Gawler East housing development.

The project has cross-regional benefits from the McLaren Vale region to the Southern Flinders as the new path will link to other existing bicycle/walking paths, such as the Angaston Nuriootpa Tanunda Path, the Stuart O'Grady Path alongside the Northern Expressway and the new electric rail service between Adelaide and Gawler.

With this and other proposed and existing pathways, a major piece of economic infrastructure for South Australia will be created, namely a tourism and recreational cycling path from Willunga in the south through McLaren Vale, Adelaide, Barossa and Clare to the Southern Flinders Ranges in the north.

It will encourage many Adelaide based, interstate and international cyclists to visit and stay in Gawler and the Barossa and in other places along the extended cycleway, significantly contributing to the regional economies. It will provide a tremendous platform for new investment in experiences including food and wine tourism facilities along the way.

Work on the path will commence later this year with a planned completion date of December 2012.