The Benalla community had the opportunity to ask questions on the Winton Wetlands masterplan last week.ANGELA TOWNSEND December 14, 2012 4:44am
A community meeting was held last week to inform the community of advances to the Winton Wetlands masterplan.
The masterplan outlines the vision for the future development of tourism, recreation, community, education and research facilities at the wetlands. It contains implementation plans and high-level financial analysis of various proposals for a potential $57
Winton Wetlands Committee of Management chairman Dr Dennis O’Brien opened last Thursday’s meeting at the Drill Hall in Benalla, saying ‘‘ We have worked hard to make it something that is sustainable’’.
Landscape architect Scott Adams, who has worked on the project for several years, launched into an explanation of the plan.
He said the 8750
‘‘It is a really beautiful site
It is a powerful and important site to the indigenous community and also has a colonial history.
‘‘My brief was to prepare a landscape masterplan — something that will generate employment and tourism for the region,’’ he said.
‘‘Sixteen million sounds like a lot, but it doesn’t go very far for a site this big.’’
Mr Adams said the two-stage masterplan would proceed over several years, with the first stage involving the development of recreational facilities for local and regional communities, including construction of shade structures, camping grounds, picnic and barbecue areas, lookouts, development of a general hub store and cafe and major children’s playground, educational signage, walking trails and bike paths.
The proposed inlet channel bicycle trail will extend from Benalla into a network of bike trails within the wetlands and link externally into the existing High Country cycling network, including the popular Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail.
Stage two will move towards securing private investors to fund and operate a number of attractions, with a tree-top walk, tethered balloon rides, a light and sound show and waterfront restaurant being among those possibilities mentioned.
It is planned to include an education centre and camping facilities for both private and school visitors.
It is estimated that stage one will utilise $5 million of the funding held by the committee, and an additional $2
Stage two is budgeted to expend a further $9 million of funding held by the committee as development capital, with plans to leverage this to obtain up to $16 million in matching funding or investment capital.
State Member for Benalla Bill Sykes said he strongly endorsed proceeding with stage one, encouraging the committee to, ‘‘Get on and do it — do a good quality, value for money job.’’
‘‘In relation to stage two, let’s wait and see.’’
Water has been returned to Kinnairds and Black wetlands to help with their revitalisation after bushfire damaged them in February.
More than 2200 people have signed up to show their support for a campaign to have the green route chosen for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Matches were split up over Good Friday and Easter Saturday throughout the region.
Painter Ben Winspear and Scott Wileman will create new works as the public look on during the at Rochester Art Exhibition.
Kyabram Bombers have the chance to beat Rochester under light for the first time this Friday evening.
Lions star recruit had a tough introduction to the GVFL.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
Eighty residents at a forum determined the Heathcote Community Plan was on track but need some fine tuning.
Cobram skate park hosts skateboarding and music for youth week.
Senior state minister Adrian Piccoli reaquainted himself with Deniliquin yesterday, leaving Deniliquin Counil hopeful it has an ally in him.
With his blue eyes and snow-coloured coat, Nanneella horse Sinatra has looks worthy of a fairytale.
Fourteen-year-old Benalla girl Jaimee Linke will launch her debut novel next month.
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