An exciting and “visionary” master plan containing a multi-million dollar redevelopment of the Yarrawonga Holiday Park is in the balance as Moira Shire Council debates a new lease for the Park Committee.FIONA BLICK March 12, 2014 11:56am
Costing in the vicinity of $29 million, Committee Chair Geoff Campbell said they have released “a visionary ten year development master plan for the caravan and camping park as we prepare for a council decision on granting a new lease to the committee”.
“The current lease is due to expire in 2015 and we have been preparing for the future during the past four years through the development of a management plan and now the development of a master plan for the precinct,” Mr Campbell said.
“Our management plan was described by the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment as a template for committees across the state, however, we have been disappointed council officers have not presented this document to council for consideration.”
Mr Campbell said the committee had a 131 year history of providing services to, not only the caravan park, but to the whole community.
“We are a proud local volunteer committee and any profit we make has always gone back into either the park itself or into the community,” he said.
“We recently continued this tradition by making a donation of $210,000 to the Yarrawonga Community Adventure Playground committee.”
Secretary of the Yarrawonga Holiday Park Committee Alan Porter said the committee decided to continue the local leadership it has shown over many decades and develop a master plan for the precinct.
“We believe Yarrawonga and the region needs this sort of leadership; we need a vision for the future, we need to capitalise on potential government funds and we need to support tourism as an economic driver in the region,” Mr Porter said.
“Moira Shire Council can support all of their economic development initiatives by simply granting a lease that provides the committee with the certainty of tenure to develop the site.
“Our plans are certainly very exciting but they will take a team effort.
“The result will be new facilities for the Holiday Park and new facilities for the community, all we need is some council support.”
The master plan includes six development zones and 24 individual projects; each project has initial costing and timelines developed with the total plan anticipated to take approximately ten years to complete.
Funding provisions in the master plan take into account the committee’s own monetary reserves, state and federal government funding, private funding and Moira Shire Council budget allocations.
It is estimated for every $14 the committee, government and private funding contributes, Moira Shire Council will be asked to contribute $1.
“This sort of investment plan does not come along every day,” Mr Porter said.
“It has been a long time since the region has seen this level of investment proposal and we hope that council will support it.”
He said the committee will not request any funding from council in the first three years of the proposed project.
“By the time we seek funding for the community based projects such as the indoor recreation facilities, bowling and cinema, we estimate the committee will have contributed more than $1.5 million to council and we believe that by reinvesting those funds in the precinct the whole region will be winners,” Mr Porter said.
“The biggest asset to the region is of course the Murray River and the project seeks to ensure this is maximised through the proposed development of a boardwalk, along with an interpretive centre and viewing decks.
“Reclaiming the river below the weir with suitable access and community facilities has been a priority of the master plan.”
One of the most exciting projects is the proposed development of an indoor recreation facility on the site of the existing swimming pool.
The proposal for this facility includes new multipurpose courts for netball, basketball, badminton, indoor cricket, gymnastics and indoor soccer.
This facility would be complemented by an indoor bowling alley and a two-screen cinema complex.
“We know there is major economic leakage from the town as residents take their kids and grand kids to other towns for swimming and movies and sport,” Mr Porter said.
“This project will assist in blocking the leak and turn the economic tap back towards Moira Shire.
“We trust council will respect the long history of volunteer local community management of the facility, share the vision for the future of the site and provide a lease that enables all partners to move forward in an environment that promotes the economic growth of the region.”
A spokesperson for the Moira Shire said a report went before the October 2013 Council meeting concerning the arrangements with the Yarrawonga Holiday Park and council deferred it to March this year.
“Until council considers and decides on the matter, we cannot confirm which direction council intends to take,” the spokesperson said.
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