Wingham Riverside Reserve reopens

MidCoast Council

Photo: left to right Tanya Thompson, Dr David Gillespie, Councillor Alan Tickle and Bill Kneipp.

Wingham Riverside Reserve reopened this week, with locals and visitors encouraged to come and enjoy the upgraded recreation area.

Federal Member for Lyne, Dr David Gillespie MP, and Tanya Thompson, representing Stephen Bromhead MP, State Member for Myall Lakes, were present for the official reopening on Tuesday 6 December, along with MidCoast Council’s Deputy Mayor Alan Tickle and Bill Kneipp from Wingham Advancement Group.

Councillor Tickle acknowledged the combined efforts of the Wingham community and the three levels of government all working together to bring this project to fruition.

The original proposal for the upgrade came from the Wingham Advancement Group. Representing the group, Bill Kneipp commented on the importance of the project not only for locals but visitors who take advantage of short stay caravan sites, with positive impacts on both the Wingham and Taree economies.

Improvements include new picnic tables, a formalised car park, landscaping and earthworks, with some construction of picnic tables done by local volunteers in Wingham.

The upgrade was possible thanks to $102,880 from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund.

“Wingham Riverside is a popular recreation area and an important part of the local ecosystem,” said Stephen Bromhead MP.

“We’re delighted to welcome back both locals and visitors to this improved community space.”

Council also obtained an additional $223,610 from Local Government NSW, funded by the NSW Environmental Trust, to restore the flood-damaged flying-fox roosting and foraging habitat over coming years. The grant will support the rehabilitation of eight hectares of land. These funds will be used for revegetation and weed control to restore the endangered low land rainforest.

After the 2021 floods, the original plan was expanded to include repairs to damaged facilities. A further $100,000 from the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program was granted to undertake this repair work. The reserve is also being made more resilient to future floods by the construction of picnic islands, diversion of stormwaters, and enlargement and creation of drain dishes.

“It’s important to rebuild and protect our community assets,” said Dr David Gillespie, Member for Lyne.

“This reserve not only brings the community together, it brings visitors to our region and supports our local economy.”

Although the upgrade experienced delays caused by ongoing wet weather, it was completed outside the flying-fox breeding season, in harmony with NSW Government guidelines.

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