Riverfront’s big revamp rolls on

By Tyla Harrington

REDEVELOPMENT of the old kiosk — as part of Echuca’s multi-million dollar and highly contentious riverfront project — is almost complete.

Campaspe Shire Council mayor Adrian Weston said with the first stage progressing well, the wharf development along Murray Esplanade would improve accessibility and the visual appearance of the area.

‘‘It’s exciting to see this large-scale project moving ahead which supports the vision in the Port Precinct Plan – ‘a place to take your time, relax and enjoy yourself’,’’ Cr Weston.

‘‘Planning approvals have now been received from Murray River Council and Campaspe Shire Council and a building permit (Vic) and construction certificate (NSW) for some of the structures on the site are now being applied for.’’

Once the kiosk is built the building will continue to be fenced and when stage two works start, the entire site will be fenced.

‘‘This will mean the kiosk itself won’t be operational until the whole project is completed,’’ Cr Weston said.

‘‘We can, however, start the leasing process during stage two works, so that once the site is opened, the kiosk will be ready for operations.’’

The $5 million project has been jointly funded with the Federal Government contributing $2.6 million, Victorian Government $1.3 million and council $1 million.

Council said commercial boat operators would continue to operate from the site until stage two construction starts with alternate mooring locations agreed to ‘‘support all boat business operations during the works’’.

A tender has been advertised for stage two.

‘‘Plans are to finalise the tender in July to allow on-site works for stage two to start in August,’’ Cr Weston said.

‘‘By early next year we will have a redeveloped riverfront, an area to enjoy the natural surroundings of the river, while supporting access to commercial houseboats and paddlesteamers, and providing universal access across the riverfront and precinct.’’

Stage two includes:

■construction of sealed roadways into the riverfront from Watson St for short-term drop off, pick-up and boat servicing parking;

■construction of a network of compliant footpaths throughout the site, linking to Watson St;

■construction of a footpath connection to Murray Esplanade and the port precinct;

■establishment of soft landscaping, including grass areas, mulch under trees, gravel plaza area, and plant trees for shade; and

■rearrangement of car and bus parking along the Watson St frontage.