Muswellbrook Council Mayor Steve Reynolds and councilors ,yesterday along with Upper Hunter State Member Dave Layzell and other dignitaries all met at the Hunter Beach for the grand opening.
Mayor Reynolds was given the scissors to cut the official red ribbon to declare the area open to the public.
While there are a few final details to be finished in the coming weeks, the community is now welcome to enjoy the amenity and facilities of the site.
Sandstone steps and ramps provide direct access to the Hunter River, barbecue facilities, currently waiting for power connections to be completed, will be operating by mid-April, and toilet facilities and picnic tables are available for use now.
The site features a shared pathway from the front gate into the site to a dedicated car park area designed to maximize safety and ensure accessibility for all, including persons living with a disability. Visitors are encouraged to bring a volleyball along to try the new court, with nets now installed or take a walk along one of the nature trails.
Features include ramped access to the central island between the car park and the river, where there is an outdoor learning area and island glade overlooking the Hunter River. The south-west corner of the site has a large, grassed picnic area next to the river’s ‘pebbly beach’. Formed tracks allow easy navigation and exploration of the site.
Project manager Peter Chambers said that while the Hunter River is a natural waterway with a large catchment area, Council cannot guarantee that the areas will always be safe for swimming – therefore swimming is at one’s own risk.
The project received funding from the State Government’s Restart NSW program with contributions from Bengalla Mining Company, AGL and Muswellbrook Shire Council, as part of its Urban Riparian Landcare Masterplan. The working title of Hunter Beach will remain until funding requirements are finalised, after which a Community Open Day and Renaming Ceremony will be held.
Photo Credits: Muswellbrook Shire Council.