Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Interpretive centre works start today at Port of Echuca

Interpretive centre works, part of $14.9 million Port of Echuca program, begin today.

TRENT HORNEMAN January 14, 2013 4:49am

An impression of the Port of Echuca.

Work will begin today on a new interpretive centre for the Port of Echuca.

The building is a key aspect of a $14.9million port revitalisation program for the Port of Echuca.

While Campaspe Shire is lauding its building, some port traders and residents believe its design and location were not ideal for the port precinct.

Campaspe Shire invited key stakeholders into a two-day workshop to help with planning for the centre and put plans on display this year for public comment.

The interpretive centre is a place where tourists can learn the history of the port of Echuca through displays and stories.

The interpretive centre has taken room from the port’s blacksmith, Greg McGregor, who will close his doors at the end of the month.

Mr McGregor said while he ‘‘despised’’ the interpretive centre, there were many more reasons behind his departure.

Echuca’s Port Side Traders, who has some members on both sides of the fence regarding the interpretive centre’s design and location, would not comment on the issue.

Traders chair Renee Oberin said she wanted to talk further with her members before making comment to the Riv.

Take our online poll (right): Is the new interpretive centre the jewel in the port's crown?

The Riv understands the relationship between traders and Campaspe Shire has strained in recent times, particularly since the dissolution of the Port of Echuca Authority in 2008.

Campaspe Shire acting chief executive Anne Howard said she believed Campaspe Shire had a healthy relationship with traders and that the removal of the port authority had helped open communication with port operators.

Campaspe Shire councillor and Port of Echuca trader Paul Jarman said the revitalisation project was the single largest investment in the port precinct and the interpretive centre would give the region a nationally-recognised tourist attraction.

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