A total of $11,022,000 from the NSW Government has been allocated to create new tourism precincts along the Murray River from Albury to Tocumwal, including the Corowa-Mulwala Trail and the 10-year-old Corowa Foreshore Master Plan.
Member for Albury Greg Aplin made the announcement with Mayors from Albury City, Berrigan Shire and Federation Councils at Rowers Park in Corowa on Wednesday, April 4.
Mr Aplin said the new tourism corridor named the ‘Murray River Regional Experiences’ precinct will connect three major projects - the Albury Riverside Precinct, Parks and Wetlands Redevelopment, the Tocumwal Foreshore Activation and Economic Revitalisation project, and the Corowa-Mulwala Trail and Foreshore Projects - creating the ultimate river tourism experience.
“Today’s announcement will transform our stunning waterways and wetlands into one of the state’s must-see river tourism trails,” Mr Aplin said.
“In short, this funding will open up parts of the Murray River that people have never before been able to explore.
“This funding will be used to build new tourism facilities that will give local residents and visitors access to parks, walking and cycling trails, boardwalks, man-made lagoons, billabongs and picnic facilities.”
He said the announcement is “one of the most significant tourism investments in many, many years” with the $11 million funding “bringing together three projects linked along the Murray”.
“These projects will generate a huge return on investment, attracting an additional 365,000 tourists to the region each year, directly creating new local jobs in the tourism industry and ultimately ensuring that tourists stay longer and spend more in our local towns and cities,” Mr Aplin said.
“The Murray River on the NSW border is one of the most stunning waterways in Australia and it will now have the connected tourism corridor it deserves.”
Federation Council Mayor Pat Bourke was more than thrilled to hear of the funding for what is referred to as the ‘Murray River Regional Experiences’ precinct, which takes the total shared investment to $20.6 million.
“To say that Federation Council is thrilled to receive this funding is an understatement,” he said.
The delivery of this project will ensure significant economic benefits to the local communities and the wider NSW Riverina Murray region for years to come.
“The Corowa Mulwala Trail and Foreshore Precincts’ projects will bring tourists from across Australia to Corowa, Mulwala and everywhere in between to experience the pristine surrounds and ambience on offer.
“For people who love the outdoors, the Corowa-Mulwala Trial and Foreshore Precincts’ projects will be a must to see, a must experience adventure with a new 43 kilometre walking/riding trail along the Murray River for visitor to take in.
“The Corowa Riverfront redevelopment will revitalise Corowa’s riverfront and improve local and visitor access to the river, creating a destination to encourage outdoor activities and interaction with the environment such as general sightseeing, bushwalking, fishing, bird watching, picnics, barbecues and recreational boating.”
Cr Bourke expressed his appreciation to council staff. “I thank all the council staff involved, especially the hard work of Kristy Kay (Director Corporate and Community Services) and Kendall Reid (Manager Customer and Community Services) in putting together the successful application for funding,” the mayor said. “It wouldn’t have happened without their excellent work.”
Also pleased to hear the announcement first hand were Federation Councillor Gail Law and former long serving Corowa Shire Mayor Gary Poidevin.
“Work actually started on the foreshore upgrade soon after Howlong joined Corowa Shire, about 2004,” Mr Poidevin said. “It was in the days of BCMH (Business Corowa Mulwala and Howlong) Committee.
“We were all trying to get a tourist link along the Murray River and now we, Federation, Berrigan and Albury councils, are getting it is great news. We’re going to really have the river flow gently past the investment in tourism!”
Mayors of Albury, Kevin Mack and the Mayor of Berrigan, Matthew Hannan expressed their delight in the funding announcement, as did Murray River Tourism’s CEO Mark Francis who has addressed Federation Council at monthly meetings (see separate story on this page).