The Governor of NSW David Hurley has thrown his support behind the Branxton Greta Memorial Cycleway, granting Vice Regal Patronage to the project.
The proposed 4.5-kilometre cycleway would connect the towns via the New England Highway, with a Lone Pine tree planted for each of the 287 Branxton and Greta residents who served in World War I.
Branxton Greta Business Chamber president Brett Wild received correspondence from Government House confirming the Patronage for the proposal. Patronage provides projects with the name and prestige of the Vice Regal office.
“We are deeply honoured and privileged to be bestowed the Patronage from His Excellency the Governor,” Mr Wild said.
“To attract such esteemed support for the Branxton Greta Memorial Cycleway project puts us in a very positive position for the future and is very exciting for our community.
“I look forward to continuing to work together with Cessnock City Council to deliver this very important piece of community and memorial infrastructure.”
Mr Hurley said he was honoured to be the new patron of the Branxton-Greta Memorial Cycleway Trust.
“This project not only provides an important bridge to the past but an outstanding link to the future,” he said.
“These communities are a fine example of the sacrifice by Australians from rural communities across the last 100 years.”
“[As well as] providing places to stop and reflect along the route to remember the service of men and women in all conflicts and peacekeeping missions, it will also commemorate Greta’s role as an army training base in World War II through to its role as a migrant camp for those displaced by this war.”
Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent applauded the chamber and commended those instrumental to securing such high level support.
“It is absolutely fantastic to hear the Governor of NSW will be the official patron of this unique and wonderful project,” he said.
“This is a testament to the perseverance of the members of the chamber who are working tirelessly to see the cycleway come to life.”
The chamber has lodged an application for $730,000 for the memorial aspects of the cycleway, with another $350,000 needed to be raised. The entire project is estimated at $2.5 million.
Cessnock Council recently submitted an application to the NSW Government’s Resources for Regions program for the project.