RICHMOND Valley Council will commit a $1.285 million funding boost from the Australian Government to upgrade two prised landmarks in Evans Head and Casino.
Council initially received an allocation of $1,002,214 through the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program to spend on priority projects. As part of its community-led recovery plan, the Australian Government set aside extra funding to flow through to local councils to help deliver additional shovel-ready projects.
At its November meeting, Council resolved to allocate the bonus $1.285 million to the rejuvenation of Razorback Lookout in Evans Head, and the Casino Drill Hall precinct memorial walk.
Richmond Valley Council General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said Council had previously approved master plans for both sites, so the projects were “shovel ready”.
Mr Macdonald said $400,000 would be allocated to the Razorback Lookout upgrade, and a further $885,000 to the Casino Drill Hall precinct.
“The Razorback Lookout master plan, which Council adopted in March, contains a number of improvements and alterations to the site to enhance traffic flow, update the facilities, and improve the aesthetics and amenity of the area,” Mr Macdonald said.
“The master plan recognised that much of what makes Razorback Lookout so special is already in place, such as its position high above the Pacific Ocean, the Evans River and the village.
“However, there was a need to replace some facilities, and provide a more aesthetic platform for both visitors and locals.
“The upgrade will include new entry signage, upgraded pathways and picnic shelters, new sandstone retaining walls, an expanded eastern carpark and improved stair access from Ocean Drive.”
Mayor Robert Mustow said Razorback Lookout was an important landmark for Evans Head and it was vital the facilities and infrastructure were kept attractive and up to date so it continued to be well used by locals and visitors.
“Evans Head is a popular tourist destination and Razorback Lookout is one of its key drawcards,” Cr Mustow said.
“Improving critical infrastructure will no doubt encourage more visitors to experience our unique variety of coastal walks.”
Council completed the master plan for the Casino Drill Hall prior to the funding of the $2.7 million first stage of the upgrade, which was officially opened in October 2019.
One of the features of the second stage is a memorial walk to commemorate the sacrifice of Australia’s service men and women in keeping with the Drill Hall’s history.
The walk would also serve as a fitting accompaniment to the Northern Rivers Military Museum, located in the original Drill Hall building, and a centrepiece of the refurbished precinct.
Mayor Robert Mustow said the memorial walk would be wonderful addition to the site.
“The memorial walk will run from the Casino Visitor Information Centre to Lennox Street, and feature unique elements including trenches and a reflection pool,” Cr Mustow said.
“This will be another magnificent addition to the newly refurbished Casino Drill Hall precinct and I look forward to seeing it come to life.”