Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, left, and Armidale Regional Council Administer Viv May at Dumaresq Dam today for the funding announcement.
Monday, 26 October 2020
DUMARESQ Dam will become the region’s next big ecotourism destination, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today announcing $3.9 million in funding to redevelop recreation facilities at one of Armidale’s best kept secret locations.
Mr Marshall said the improvements, funded by the State and Commonwealth Governments, would unleash a flood of opportunities for the previously underutilised former water storage dam.
“Offering stunning bush walks and the perfect place for families to paddle safely on the water, Dumaresq Dam has always had the potential to be one of Armidale’s biggest visitor drawcards,” Mr Marshall said.
“While many locals know and access Dumaresq Dam for kayaking and water activities, this $3,889,131 grant, through the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, will open the area up to an additional 30,000 visitors per year.
“Armidale Regional Council plans to modernise facilities at the dam by installing a new amenities block, boat ramp, jetty and kiosk.
“An outdoor community stage and viewing platform at the water’s edge are also included in the preliminary designs, along with changes to the road network to improve traffic flow throughout the park and allow for car parking.
“Importantly, this project aims to increase Dumaresq Dam’s appeal as a campsite, supporting efforts to generate 4,600 overnight visitors annually.
“A new limited camping area will include basic sites without power, and be accompanied by picnic shelters, barbecue facilities and a camp kitchen.
“It’s expected 10 construction jobs will be created as a result of this development and up to 30 new full-time equivalent tourism related positions.”
NSW Public Works Advisory will act as project managers, working alongside Armidale Regional Council.
Mr Marshall said the Dumaresq Dam Ecotourism Development would assist the region’s economic recovery.
“It can’t be overstated how important tourism is going to be getting businesses back on their feet after what’s been a horror two years of drought, bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
“Camping is a low cost holiday but while people are here they will still buy a coffee from a café and spend money purchasing groceries, all of which helps keep a local employed.
“This development will definitely attract wildlife lovers with the Dumaresq Dam reserve to be managed for the conservation of wildlife habitat and as a critical linkage between core koala habitat between Mount Duval Nature Reserve.
“With this money now secured I look forward to seeing what is included in Council’s final blueprint when the designs are approved following public exhibition.”
Armidale Regional Council’s Dumaresq Dam Redevelopment Plan Stage 1 is currently on public exhibition and can be viewed at https://yoursay.armidale.nsw.gov.au/public-exhibition-dumaresq-dam-redevelopment-plan-stage-1
The redevelopment plan was informed by the Dumaresq Dam Upgrade Plan which was adopted in 2016 and included extensive community consultation.