Indigo Shire Council wanted to harness the economic, social and environmental benefits that could be achieved through recreation and tourism related to walking and cycling, by expanding their current range of trails through the municipality.
The purpose of the Rutherglen Wine, Walk, Cycle Trail Business Case was for an assessment to be made on the opportunity to further develop and expand walking and cycle tourism and recreation, and provide a link from the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail to selected wineries, food producers, cafes and restaurants of interest which were not currently accessible via the Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail.
Importantly, the business case would outline a concept that would build on the positioning of north-east Victoria as a ride centre of national significance and capitalise on the unique features of Rutherglen and Wahgunyah.
The business case prepared by TRC would provide the necessary data to aid in decision-making by Indigo Shire Council, Tourism North East regional tourism organisation and other bodies on whether to pursue the proposal and allocate funding to it in future years.
Concept development was a significant part of the business case. Developing the concept to ensure that it was fit-for-purpose, showcased the region and was market driven led to an exciting series of ‘nested loops’.
TRC developed the concept based on market knowledge and taking advantage of the natural assets of Rutherglen and surrounds including Wahgunyah. Despite some minor planning issues needing further resolution which could be resolved by the Council, the strong economics provided a sound case for progressing with the concept.
Business opportunity and community liveability enhancement were both direct outcomes that could be achieved through this investment and that TRC believed would be a success, growing the overnight visitor markets to the Shire and the Rutherglen/Wahgunyah areas.