In 2018, the Forrest & District Community Group received a $250,000 grant to conduct a two-year feasibility study into the Gateway concept, emphasising a community-led approach to adapting to climate change. Forrest is in a unique location for this concept – positioned on the boundary of a National Park to the south, prime farming land to the north, and home to a major water catchment.
In March/April 2019, a community consultation process is open for comment. The Forrest Gateway Project is inviting community feedback regarding possible uses of the site. The Project is currently exploring funding options and design proposals to establish the feasibility of the preferred services in a purpose-built venue. The Project is also exploring revenue streams for financial viability for long-term maintenance and upkeep of the site, and to take the opportunity presented by the land to increase employment and income options in Forrest & district. Some early ideas for revenue sources include:
• Partnerships with existing community service providers, such as DHHS*, CFA*, EMV*, DELWP, Parks Victoria (* see below)
• Research and education centre (with a possible focus on climate change adaptation), with grants achieved in partnership with universities, state agencies or other research organisations; as well as hire of the facilities for research and educational purposes
• New, state-of-the-art interactive visitor facility to generate tourism
We would greatly appreciate it if you could take 10 minutes or so to give us your responses. The questionnaire must be submitted by 10th April 2019.
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