The multi-million dollar Koondrook Wharf was officially opened on Monday.
Hundreds of residents and a handful of dignitaries were on hand for the opening, with Gannawarra Shire mayor Brian Gibson saying the project showed what was possible when various levels of government worked together.
‘‘It’s hard to believe that 12 months ago the Koondrook Wharf structure wasn’t there,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s taken a number of years to get to this point and it could not have happened without the partnerships in place with the Federal and State Governments and the local community.’’
Construction on the $2.4 million project started in February and will complement other investments promoted under the Ports of the Murray initiative.
The project received $1.5 million in funding from the Federal and Victorian governments through the jointly funded Murray Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Programme.
Council forked out the remaining $900,000.
The wharf includes a moored pontoon (with the capacity for paddlesteamers to moor), a 28m gangway and a series of viewing platforms within the tree canopy with interpretation features.
Council’s economic development manager Roger Griffiths said the wharf was expected to open up a range of new tourism opportunities.
‘‘Council are currently working with a range of business people considering developments in Koondrook,’’ he said.
‘‘Hospitality is a high priority along with accommodation. The reality is that tourism won’t work unless we have products that give people a reason to visit.
‘‘Kayak tours, indigenous tours, cruise boats, arts facilities and events will all play a major role in product development and are also attracting private sector investment.’’