MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has used his first speech in the 56th NSW Parliament last week to laud the innovation of the Moree community and detail the exciting and soon-to-be-completed Moree Evergreen Precinct Ski Gardens.


Mr Marshall told the Parliament that the completion of the three-lake complex would see Moree become a “water sports mecca.”


“I was absolutely astounded by the scale of the project when I inspected the site with council and Moree Water Ski Club representatives recently,” Mr Marshall said in his speech.


“In what I think epitomises the Moree psyche, this project is an example of a negative situation being turned into a positive one.”


Mr Marshall told Parliament that the Artesian Spa Capital of Australia faced a very difficult situation not so long ago when the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) advised Moree Plains Shire Council that it could no longer expel the ‘used’ water from its popular and world-renowned hot artesian baths into the Mehi River.


“This threw up a real problem for the Moree Plains Shire Council and the community – what to do with 600 million litres of spent artesian pool water each year if it could no longer be discharged into the river?” he said.


“Council, in conjunction with the Moree Water Ski Club, came up with an exciting plan. Why not reshape the planned wastewater evaporation ponds, required by the EPA, into a world-class waterski lake? And why stop there? Why not have three lakes?


“What has resulted has been six years in the making with expert advice along the way, including from national groups such as the Australian Waterski and Wakeboard Federation. The lakes complex comprises three separate international competition standard and recreation lakes.”


Mr Marshall said plans for a clubhouse, boat ramps and jetties were well underway as well as additional fundraising, website and sponsorship for future tournaments in line with a five-year business plan.


“It’s fair to say that all we need to do is add water,” Mr Marshall said.


“The enthusiasm for this project is plain to see. I am looking forward to helping the community maintain that enthusiasm and help secure some State Government funding in order to make the finishing touches to this magnificent project.”


In his speech, Mr Marshall acknowledged some key people behind the project, including outgoing Moree Plains Shire General Manager David Aber, Mayor Katrina Humphries, Project Manager John Carelton and members of the Moree Water Ski Club executive.


He also praised Councillor James von Drehnen, whose dream the ski lakes was and “who has pursued it with such passion.”


“I commend all those people who have worked hard on this project to get it to this point; it has not been easy, but they have taken a serious environmental problem and turned it into a winning economic and tourism opportunity for Moree Plains and the wider region,” Mr Marshall said.


“Well done Moree.”

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