WOODBURN has a landmark attraction for locals and visitors alike with the opening of the first stage of the upgraded Woodburn Riverside Park on Monday 28 October.
Jointly funded by the Australian and NSW governments and Richmond Valley Council, the $2.2 million project features a new visitor information centre and function room with elevated views over the Richmond River, an adventure playground with adjoining barbecue and picnic areas, and a new boating pontoon, beach and timber boardwalk.
One of the goals of the multi-faceted project was to bring a continual flow of visitors to Woodburn following the 2020 opening of the Pacific Highway upgrade, which will bypass the town.
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said with the opening of the park, Woodburn now had a wonderful attraction which would help boost tourism as well as delivering an outstanding facility for the local community.
“It’s vital that we invest in our region’s growing tourism economy with modern public spaces which stand out from the crowd,” Mr Hogan said.
“When the bypass of Woodburn was announced, local businesses made it clear they needed something unique to entice visitors off the highway – and with its picturesque setting and facilities, this project delivers in spades.
“It also provides a great new visitor information centre so travellers can relax, unwind, and consider exploring the region.”
The project received $700,000 from the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund and $110,000 from the Supporting Water Sports Fund, an additional $551,000 from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund and $103,466 from NSW Boating Now, and $761,752 from Richmond Valley Council.
Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said the upgraded riverside park was a fantastic asset to Woodburn and the wider Richmond Valley community.
“With the opportunity for a whole range of social, cultural and sporting events and activities, the Woodburn Riverside Park has plenty to offer,” Mr Gulaptis said.
“Not only is it a perfect drawcard to secure highway traffic to Woodburn, it delivers much for the local community as well.”
A key feature of the upgraded park is the adventure playground which has proven popular with locals and travellers with its crow’s nest lookout and tubular slide.
Home to the visitor information centre, the modern community building also provides a meeting and function room with an outdoor deck which takes advantage of the views of the Richmond River.
Mayor Robert Mustow said the opening of the first stage of the park was a milestone for the community.
“When the Pacific Highway upgrade was announced Council quickly recognised the potential impact of the bypass, and following community consultation Council invested in a comprehensive master plan to upgrade the Riverside Park,” Cr Mustow said.
“The Woodburn Riverside Park takes advantage of the town’s best asset – the Richmond River – and offers something for everyone.
“This is a unique precinct offering a great range of activities to both travellers and locals.
“Already the upgraded precinct is getting rave reviews from travellers, with the slide in particular a winning attraction for kids.
“For the local community of Woodburn, this is a wonderful asset to be enjoyed for many years to come.”
Cr Mustow said Council was actively pursuing future grant funding opportunities to complete the second stage of the project.