The Andrews Labor Government are reopening the popular Lady Talbot Drive scenic rainforest journey, boosting the local Marysville economy, improving community safety and promoting Victoria’s national parks.

More than $3.3 million will be invested in the project to provide safer access to key local tourism sites impacted heavily by the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires and recent storm events, including Keppel Falls, Phantom Falls and the Beeches Rainforest.

Lady Talbot Drive provides spectacular rainforest walks in Marysville with waterfalls, lookouts and picnic spots along the 46-kilometre road. The reopening of the Drive is expected to boost the local community with increased tourism and jobs.

As part of the project, fire-killed Mountain and Alpine Ash trees up to 100 meters each side of Lady Talbot Drive and adjoining tracks will be removed to reduce the risk visitors in the area.

Trees that are fallen away from the road will be left on the ground to provide habitat, helping minimise vegetation disturbance and supporting forest regeneration. Trees that are removed from the site will be made available for community firewood collection.

Specialised contractors have been engaged to undertake the works, which will start this month. The road and track network will then be reinstated prior to the area being reopened to the public.

Machines will use existing roads where possible to reduce impacts upon existing vegetation, while aerial lopping with the use of a helicopter will also be utilised to minimise ground disturbance in environmentally sensitive areas.

Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes

“These works improve community safety and pave the way for Lady Talbot Drive to reopen, creating local jobs and significantly boosting the economy around Marysville.”

“Tourists from across the state and beyond will soon be able to enjoy the beauty of Lady Talbot Drive again. The works will regenerate habitats for Victoria’s native species, collect firewood and create local jobs.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“Lady Talbot Drive allows visitors to access Victoria’s exquisite natural beauty, but it also boosts local tourism and jobs. Its reopening is a win for nature-lovers and locals alike.”