Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, left, Mayor Katrina Humphries, Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre Board Chairman James von Drehnan and board member Peter Gall sit by the MAAC’s 50 metre pool.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
SWIMMERS and visitors to Moree’s iconic Artesian Aquatic Centre (MAAC) can look forward to greatly improved comfort all year round, thanks to the imminent installation of wind blocking screens, covered walkways, and roofing sections at the tourist destination, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said today.
Mr Marshall was at the centre this morning to announce $199,696 State Government funding under the Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure (TDDI) Program to enhance the popular facility.
The grant will be used for building a combination of fixed, louvered or roll-down wall panels and covering existing walkways to provide protection from sun, rain and wind, especially during the winter months when visitor numbers dip.
“More than 250,000 people travel to Moree’s Artesian Aquatic Centre each year to cool off in the pool or warm up in the 40 degree active spa,” Mr Marshall said.
“Travellers come from as far as Victoria to try out the mineral-rich aquifer-heated water for its supposed health benefits.
“Unfortunately, locals and visitors can’t stay in the water forever – and baking summer sun or cold winter breezes mean it can often be uncomfortable when getting out of the water. In winter particularly, visitor numbers drop significantly, which means accommodation and businesses that service the centre take a noticeable hit.
“This funding will not only make the naturally warm pools more comfortable, it will also drive tourism spending in Moree, which flows through to every individual and business within the town.”
The NSW Government has identified improvements at the Aquatic Centre as important to boosting tourism in Moree and the broader region. TDDI funding requires not only that the project fit into the region’s tourism plan, but also return on investment across the entire tourism supply chain.
The TDDI fund was created in 2014 to help achieve the Tourism 2020 Target of doubling overnight domestic and international visitor expenditure, to between $115 and $140 billion each year.
Mr Marshall says the Northern Tablelands can take advantage of increasing domestic tourism numbers.
“We know that when a visitor comes to a town in our region, it isn’t in isolation. A visitor travelling to Moree will likely make stops in Bingara or Boggabilla, spending money here and there,” he said.
“By increasing the appeal of one town, the entire region will benefit from increased tourism.”
Tourism brings almost $50 million a year into the Moree economy, with winter months seeing a spike in migratory travellers from the southern states. Upgrades to the MAAC will help the town attract more travellers, and add value for those who come regularly.
Moree Plains Shire Mayor Katrina Humphries said the facility was a vital part of the town’s identity.
“The Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre is iconic, and it’s the jewel in the crown for our northern area when it comes to pools. Our artesian water is full of goodness and it’s the centrepiece of tourism in Moree,” Cr Humphries said.
“We’re grateful of the grant which has been bestowed upon us, which will allow us to make the MAAC even better.”
MEDIA: Will Kelly 0447 386 645