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Dirt Art secures track construction contract for remaining 100 kilometres of Grampians Peaks Trail

Dirt Art secures track construction contract for remaining 100 kilometres of Grampians Peaks Trail
April 28, 2019

Parks Victoria has appointed hiking trail specialists, Dirt Art, for the track construction of the remaining 100 kilometres of the Grampians Peaks Trail. Dirt Art will be prioritising the north and south sections of the Trail, set to be opened in spring.

This year, Dirt Art will construct 35 kilometres in the north, from Roses Gap to Halls Gap, and 22 kilometres in the south, from Cassidy Gap to Dunkeld. The remaining 45 kilometres in the central section will be completed by the end of 2020.

Construction will involve stone masonry techniques to install hundreds of rock steps ensuring the path is ecologically sensitive and sympathetic to the landscape as part of our Native Vegetation Counterbalance Offset Strategy. Traditional Owners are engaged with Parks Victoria through collaborative governance on the Grampians Peaks Trail, to determine the most culturally respectful trail alignment and ways to ensure walkers can be engaged in Aboriginal culture and history while completing the trail.

Dirt Art has extensive experience constructing thousands of kilometres of trails in Australia and New Zealand. They have completed upgrades on the existing walking tracks for the Grampians Peaks Trail including Boundary Gap, Major Mitchell Plateau, Mount Stapleton and Mount Abrupt tracks. Dirt Art also designed and constructed the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, a 65 kilometre multi-day walk in a fragile environment.

Dirt Art are currently recruiting to bolster their team and are interested to hear from local applicants and those with specialist stone work skills or trail construction experience. The majority (80%) of their employee base is made up of local Horsham, Ararat and Stawell residents. As construction begins in the south, they will be looking for team members who live in the Hamilton and Dunkeld areas.

Parks Victoria is working in collaboration with Traditional Owners to develop an interpretation plan that intends to tell the stories of the landscape. Recruitment of Gariwerd Rangers to guide visitors on the Trail from spring is in its final stages and, once selected, they will embark on a six-month on-the-job training program. The Gariwerd Rangers will help visitors to experience Country through their eyes in a fully facilitated two-night, three-day experience in the north.

The Grampians Peaks Trail will bring opportunities to the region well beyond the walk itself, and is an important economic and tourism development opportunity for the local community, the wider region and for Victoria as a key nature-based tourism destination. The project is expected to generate $6.39 millio of economic benefit by 2025.

The Grampians Peaks Trail is a world-class walking experience of 160 kilometres that can be experienced in sections, or as one 13-day journey. It will showcase the beauty and majesty of the Grampians National Park’s natural and cultural landscapes.

Commenting on the project, Parks Victoria, Chief Operating Officer, Simon Talbot stated “Dirt Art bring a wealth of creativity, experience and craftmanship to the Grampians Peaks Trail project, with a specialist team which is set to expand. We’re confident they will deliver a world-class nature-based experience to enable us to share some of the best landscapes in the world with visitors.”

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