The project will see the construction of a shared path for walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders, with Stage 2 a 3km section from Wattle Glen to Hurstbridge.
Nillumbik Shire Council has already committed $4 million to the entire project.
Work is already well underway on Stage 1 of the extension, which runs 2.5km from Luscombe Drive in Diamond Creek to Wilson Rd in Wattle Glen.
The Victorian Government contributed $4 million for this section through VicRoads’ Towards Zero initiative.
The shared trail will consist of a concrete path for walking, running and cycling, and a separate natural surface trail for horse riding.
Nillumbik Mayor Karen Egan said she was thrilled the final section or “missing link” would be going ahead.
“This is an important piece of community infrastructure, particularly for our rural community and we’re very glad to see our advocacy efforts achieve such a great community result,” Cr Egan said.
“It is set in a beautiful part of our [Nillumbik] Shire and will provide further opportunities for our residents to get out and be active.
“We hope the trail, with its links to the Diamond Creek, Wattle Glen and Hurstbridge train stations, will – when restrictions allow – also encourage visitors from outside Nillumbik, providing a much-needed boost to local businesses and employment.”
Social Infrastructure Portfolio Chair, Cr Peter Perkins, thanked the Victorian Government for its critical contribution to the trail.
“This has been a long-awaited project for the Nillumbik community and we are very pleased to see construction start and it fully funded,” Cr Perkins said.
“The past few months have seen our trails used more than ever before and I have no doubt that once finished, this new trail will be enormously popular with locals and visitors alike.”
The Diamond Creek Trail is the most popular shared-use trail in Nillumbik. It is currently 12km in length and runs from Eltham Lower Park, through Eltham to Diamond Creek.
Once finished, the trail will run continuously for 55km from Hurstbridge, linking with the Main Yarra Trail at Eltham, to the Melbourne CBD.
Stage 1 of the project to Wilson Rd in Wattle Glen will include three bridges over the Diamond and Scrubby creeks and is expected to be completed by early 2021.
Construction of Stage 2 will start late next month and is anticipated to finish in mid-2021. It will include five creek crossings.
The funding to enable completion of this stage was announced by the Victorian Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio and the Member for Yan Yean, Danielle Green, as part of the Suburban Parks Program.
As part of Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the project, Nillumbik has acquired about 14.4ha of private land. Extensive environmental and heritage studies have been undertaken.