News

Gunbower might get tourism boost

By Riverine Herald

A REDEVELOPED Lions Park is on the cards for Gunbower after Campaspe Shire Council supported a concept plan.

For residents, it’s a plan that’s been in the pipeline for about five years as an idea to improve the town physically, emotionally and meet residents’ needs.

Mayor Adrian Weston said the proposal identifies works to be carried out and provides a business case which will support the development of funding applications.

“The concept plan to redevelop the Lions Park at Gunbower has been driven by the community through a community engagement process, in partnership with council staff,” Cr Weston said.

For the Gunbower and District Development Group, the development of a park which used to be the community pool is ticking a lot of boxes.

“The community is very excited, the redevelopment of the park was a high priority,” president Jeanette Cowan said.

“It has become a very tired place and so we’re stoked with the concept plan.”

Council supported the proposed business case except a boardwalk and a skate park as the cost of the items outweighed the benefits.

“The boardwalk was a long term dream and a plan we are aiming for in the future. But we are so excited with the concept plans,” Ms Cowan said.

“This is a park we want to be accessible to everybody, Echuca Specialist School uses this park regularly and there is currently nowhere easy for them to get close to the water.”

The concept includes a number of renewal items as well as new items to enhance the park. Items proposed to support the redevelopment of the Gunbower Lions Club include:

■Connecting footpaths

■Tractor relocation

■BBQ and shelter

■Natural play space

■Canoe and kayak launching ramp

■Wetland planting

■Flag pole and rock monument

■Seating

■Landscaping.

A fishing jetty will also be part of the redevelopment, however further community consultation is required to ensure it is fit for purpose.

“If this cannot be achieved, this item will need to be further considered by council,” Cr Weston added.

Council has allocated $30,000 to the project from the Community Plan Implementation Fund for Gunbower however additional funding will be required from third parties to complete the project.

“Council will be actively working with the Gunbower and District Development Group to source and leverage funds and in kind support for the delivery of the project,” Cr Weston said.

Ms Cowan estimated flow-on benefits for the community as a result of the redevelopment.

“This is situated along the entry to the forest and so it could be people stopping on their way through or even people coming out from Echuca for a small trip,” she said.

“It’s such a magical, quiet place. We’re hoping people will linger in town and provide a tourism benefit.”

Once completed, additional maintenance and operational expenses are estimated to cost a further $3800 per annum.