Commencing the $500,000 refurbishment of the Uralla Visitor Information Centre last week, Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce, left, Uralla Shire Mayor Michael Pearce, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and General Manager Kate Jessep.
Monday, 1 February 2021.
A HALF-A-MILLION-DOLLAR refurbishment of the Uralla Visitor Information Centre (VIC) is hoped to entice travellers to stop, stay and spend in the highway community, after Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Uralla Shire Mayor Michael Pearce and Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce last week turned the first ceremonial sod of soil on the project.
Last year, Mr Marshall announced $400,000 in State Government funding for the improvements, with the remaining $100,000 funded by the Federal Government’s Drought Communities Extension Program.
Mr Marshall said the redevelopment would increase the centre’s visibility to traffic.
“Uralla is the first town travellers from the south arrive in after climbing the Moonbi Range, and as such really is the ‘Southern Gateway to the New England,” Mr Marshall said.
“The Uralla visitors centre plays an important role in promoting sites and activities across the entire New England, however due to its current configuration there is limited space for local produce and tourism displays.
“That will be rectified with the removal of a number of walls to create a more open and inviting space for visitors and staff.
“To provide a relaxing place to stop and have a cuppa, a garden area will also be built at the building’s rear, in the existing grassed area, in front of the library.
“The garden will have a small waterfall and native ground covers, shrubs and small trees planted throughout, with plans to include a ‘bush tucker’ area with interpretive signage providing information on traditional food sources utilised by the local Aboriginal community.
“Benches will be constructed from old bridge timbers stored in the council depot and the existing disabled carpark is upgraded to comply with the standard.
“This is an exciting development, which I think will greatly increase the number of people stopping into the visitor centre and choosing to stay and make the most of Uralla’s hospitality.”
Cr Pearce said the improvement project would increase visitor traffic by boosting the Uralla VIC’s presence on Uralla’s Bridge Street and provide additional services to the Uralla Shire tourism industry.
“The VIC improvement project will boost our visitor services to the Uralla Shire by providing an attractive centre and increased services for visitors to the Shire,” Cr Pearce said.
“Council has put in a lot of planning on this project and has worked with the community to fine-tune the project scope to deliver a great outcome for the Uralla Shire community, and we are pleased to see the project come to fruition.
“The VIC improvement project was made possible by funding contributions from the State and Federal Governments, and we thank the State and Federal Governments for providing the funding for the project.
“We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the State and Federal Governments for their continued support and advocating the needs of the Uralla Shire.”