NORTHERN Grampians Shire Council will ask the State Government to help pay for Halls Gap Community and Tourism Hub.

The council applied for a $1.9-million Federal Government grant twice in the past two years for stage two of the project, without success.

The $3-million hub has been in the council’s plans since the 1970s and includes indoor and outdoor meeting spaces, entertainment areas, tourism services and improved public toilets.

The council’s latest meeting agreed to re-examine and re-scope the project.

Cr Kevin Erwin said council would explore breaking the project into more stages to increase the chances of receiving funding.

“Breaking the project into more stages isn’t the ideal route we want to take, because it would mean the project would take longer,” he said. “But restaging could help the hub receive State Government funding.”

Northern Grampians chief executive Justine Linley said re-staging the project could lead to cost escalations.

Cr Erwin said Halls Gap badly needed better tourism facilities.

“We’re really disappointed the Federal Government knocked us back,” he said.

“The Grampians receives about 1.5 million visitors a year with many coming through Halls Gap.

“If anyone wants to complain about the line for the portable public toilets in Halls Gap they can ring Julia Gillard.”

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