Narrandera is set to be a premier regional NSW destination rather than a through-point under the $8 million Playground on the Murrumbidgee project.
Granted under the Regional Growth Fund, the multi-faceted infrastructure project will add and trans-form iconic natural and built assets, linking them to provide visitors with a nature based experience, building on visitor appeal and increasing economic growth in the area.
Mayor Neville Kschenka said the project would position Narrandera as a key visitor destination in the growing environmental tourism market.
“Narrandera Shire Council understands that to be comp-etitive, attract and retain visitors and offer a great experience, high quality and unique experiences are a must,” Cr Kschenka said.
He said Playground on the Murrumbidgee would capitalise on the Lake Talbot Water Park upgrade and art on the water tower.
“Especially in this time of drought when everyone is suffering, this wonderful announcement will lift our spirits. It is an important project for the region as we are the gateway.”
Cr Kschenka said the project would be completed over the next few years generating employment for local contractors.
The scope of works includes an impressive rebuild of the Visitor Information Centre to become Narrandera’s Destination and Discovery Hub, where people can discover Narrandera’s nature based and cultural stories using interactive displays including virtual reality.
The Lake Talbot Water Park will continue its transformation with a new family splash play area to be constructed in place of the island pool and toddler pool.
Disabled access and solar heating will be added to the Olympic pool together with new state of the art filtration equipment and associated filter rooms. Shade structures will also be built for additional sun protection next to the 50m pool.
Lake Talbot Tourist Park will see the demolition of an existing aged amenities block and camp kitchen to clear the way for a new amenities block incorporating disabled access and family change rooms, a laundry and new camp kitchen.
Twelve sites are to be upgraded to increase capacity for caravan, RV’s and tent use, while a conversion of an unused building into two new family units will be completed and a new playground built for the facility.
“Our town bike and hike trail is set to be increased with the construction of an impressive North Bank Bridge over the main irrigation canal, connecting the bridge to an extension of the formed bike and hike trails along the north side of the canal to link up with existing trails,” Cr Kschenka said. “The pathway will feature solar lighting, and landscaping to form an attractive link between a free camping area and Narrandera’s Central Business District.
“There will also be an extension of the bike and hike trails through the Flora and Fauna Reserve with directional and interpretive signage.
“Finally, the iconic lattice railway bridge will be converted to form part of the bike and hike trail over the Murrumbidgee River.”
This project is a joint initiative between Council and Narrandera Landcare group. The project uses an existing state significant heritage listed bridge and will feature disabled access onto and off the bridge, and a light weight walking/cycling path across the bridge.
Information boards are proposed to tell the history of the bridge and significance of the location for the Wiradjuri People. Parking and accessible paths will be provided on the northern approach for people who cannot access the bridge by the bike and hike network.
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the grant would go a long way in ensuring the project would allow Narrandera visitors the opportunity to take part in a nature based experience, designed to build visitor appeal and increase economic growth in the area.
“We have been working with council, Lake Talbot, the caravan park, and other organisations right across this shire on the Playground on the Murrumbidgee project over the last few years,” Ms Cooke said. “This project has been through a few setbacks and has been hard fought for, not just by myself but most importantly Narrandera Shire Council.”