Path extension essential

SJD Homes director and main driver of project Simon Dunstan, Pakenham resident Jack Mitchell and Beaconhills College principal Sarah Rudiger want trails north and south to connect up with the new footbridge. 205996_05

By Jessica Anstice

Walkers, joggers, and cyclists are begging for the Toomuc Valley Nature Reserve shared path to be extended.

A petition to continue the existing path along Toomuc Valley Road at Syme Road and extend to Brown Road and then join Brown Road to the very popular Cardinia Aqueduct Trail is circulating the community.

“As a regular at Pakenham parkrun for over four years and 220 events, I am committed to a healthy lifestyle, love this community and see the extension as a critical and much needed project. I am totally committed to the project,” resident Jack Mitchell said.

“As housing estates extend further north on Toomuc Valley Road more locals would be encouraged to proceed safely, there is also Beaconhills College, the early learning centre and the residents of the Gold Care Retirement Village.”

At present, the paved path only extends for about 500 metres north of Princes Highway – severely limiting progress for residents and recreational pursuits.

Mr Mitchell said benefits of extending the path include: improved community and school children safety, all abilities access, use for cycling, walking and sporting groups, tourism encouragement, social cohesion improvement and more.

“Whist the proposal has support from the shire, the cost to proceed to Stage 2 to Brown Road will nonetheless require funding contributions from all levels of government,” Mr Mitchell said.

“With strong promotion and determined community support the aim is to encourage thousands of locals to sign the petition.”

La Trobe MP Jason said the Toomuc Valley Nature Reserve shared path project has received a great deal of community support, for which he is also “fervently” in favour of.

“This project has great potential to be a major attraction for the La Trobe community,” Mr Wood said.

“After discussing the project with Toomuc Landcare Group and SJD Homes, I am supporting the project by running a petition for the development of a wide shared bike path.

“I am very supportive of walking paths as I have previously secured funding for Emerald Gembrook Multiuse Trail and also Ridge walk across Dandenong ranges.”

To sign the petition and have your say visit: