Residents and visitors will enjoy new boating, family and event spaces this summer following today’s official opening of the new Stuarts Point foreshore.
Kempsey Shire Council have crafted an entirely new precinct for Stuarts Point, fitted out with a range of new recreational facilities, a spectacular new design and improved access for pedestrians and vehicles.
The extensive upgrade delivers a drawcard for the village as well as a showpiece for the immensely beneficial results of combining Council expertise with local community knowledge and state government funding.
The centrepiece of the new reserve is an outdoor stage, where the official proceedings took place, a space which enables the community to host events, festivals and concerts.
Kempsey Shire Mayor, Liz Campbell, celebrated the new reserve.
“New paths, a timber wharf and ramp from the street level have made the facility much more accessible and inclusive for a greater range of people,” said Cr Campbell.
“I would encourage everyone in the shire to come and enjoy a picnic, a day on the water or a concert here as soon as possible. I have no doubt that this is going to be an area that will draw tourists from all over the country.”
Following extensive consultation with the community, Council started the construction in September 2019 to deliver extensive upgrades throughout the reserve area.
The $3.6 million project was jointly funded by Council and the NSW Government under Restart NSW’s Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund and Transport for NSW’s Boating Now program.
NSW Maritime Executive Director Mark Hutchings said the Boating Now project funding enabled the construction of a new two-lane boat ramp to make it safer and easier for boaters to access the Macleay Arm of the river.
“This boating infrastructure grant funding ensures boaters have better and safer access to NSW waterways with upgrades and new infrastructure such as boat ramps, jetties, pontoons, car parks and sewage pump-out facilities,” Mr Hutchings said.
Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey said the $3.6 million project improves access to the foreshore, provides new amenities and recreational opportunities, including better fishing facilities, new pathways and picnic areas, and a new designated event space.
“This is an exciting project that enhances outdoor spaces for the local community and boosts opportunities to attract tourists to this beautiful location,” Ms Pavey said.
“I’m also delighted the NSW Liberals and Nationals in government have made this project a reality with more than $1.6 million in Restart NSW funding as part of the Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund.
“Kempsey Shire Council is to be congratulated for prioritising the project as part of their vision for the Stuarts Point foreshore.”
Council’s Director of Operations and Planning, Robert Fish, said Council adopted a development plan for the foreshore reserve in May 2019 and sought community feedback on the design of the area ahead of construction starting.
“It’s an exciting day for the Stuarts Point community to have this foreshore area officially opened and useable for the summer holiday period,” he said.
“A large number of council staff as well as contractors were involved in undertaking these works and they should be congratulated and proud of what has been achieved.”
The project was identified as a priority in Council’s 2019-20 Operational Plan and 2017-21 Delivery Program.
The upgrade included:
- Expanded riverfront picnic and barbeque area
- New children’s playground within the picnic area
- New foreshore pathways
- An outdoor stage for concerts and events
- A new timber wharf/boardwalk along the riverbank at the head of the carpark
- New public toilet facilities
- A new 2-lane boat ramp to improve river access for fishing and other boating activities
- Car and trailer parking at the boat ramp
- A relocated fish cleaning table
- Additional public car parking along a new access road
- A new carpark at the footbridge with vehicle turnaround accessible parking
- New entrance, office and manager’s residence for the Holiday Park including entry check-in bay and two-way entry/exit road
- A new amenity building for the northern part of the park