Multimillion-dollar boost for tourism, recreation projects

Port Macquarie-Hastings

An outdoor ampitheatre to be built above Port Macquarie’s iconic Town Beach foreshore will be one of three open space projects delivered under a multimillion-dollar NSW Government grant.

Construction of the $450,000 outdoor entertainment space, which will further activate the already bustling beach front, is a key feature of the $3 million NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program that will also see $1.1 million spent on the expansion of Westport Park Playground and $1.45 million invested into upgrading Wauchope’s Bain Park.

The projects are aimed at future-proofing the region’s post-COVID tourism economy, by ensuring our open spaces remain modern, vibrant and thriving as we transition back to normal life.

“Through this program, the NSW Government is helping to revive our region and reignite people’s interest in visiting the magnificent Mid-North Coast,” Melissa Watkins, Director Community, Planning and Environment, said.

“These three projects are essential to our region’s growth and transformation, and I welcome the NSW Government’s continued investment in supporting our vision for a vibrant and active community.”

The construction of an outdoor amphitheatre above Town Beach will spark and sustain opportunities for artists and community groups by creating a new and different performance space.

It will function as a flexible space attracting tourists and a broad demographic of the community. It will include terraced seating, a stage, provisions for power and accessible footpath connections.

The Westport Park Destination Playground project builds on Council’s commitment to provide a large range of outdoor recreational opportunities for our residents. This project encompasses the upgrade and extension of the existing playground and park facilities including the provision of car parking.

The upgrade and expansion of the children’s playground, water play area with cultural links to the river, picnic settings and improvements to landscaping will result in an inviting setting for a broader demographic of the community.

It will include water play, picnic settings, shade structures and water bubbler.

The grant money will also go towards upgrading Bain Park – an important cultural and recreational space for the community in the heart of the Wauchope CBD.

Stages one and two of this project includes a promenade path that encircles the park land, improving the connection to High Street with main entrances and interpretive sculptures, a shaded playground, pump track and seating area.

Oxley MP Melinda Pavey said Bain Park was a popular meeting and recreation space for locals and visitors to Wauchope.

“These upgrades will help ensure the park’s future as a dynamic community hub, with improved access to new family-friendly fun and education facilities,” Mrs Pavey said.

“Congratulations to the council and community groups who provided the vision for the park master plan.”

The NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program supports the NSW Planning Reform Action Plan to accelerate development assessment speeds and planning proposals across NSW Councils.

It aims to provide long-term value by funding new and/or improved high-quality public and open spaces that ensures a legacy well beyond the COVID-19 economic recovery period.

“Council will undertake community engagement to inform the detailed design component of the projects, with construction anticipated to commence in the latter half of 2022,” Ms Watkins said.

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