The Premier John Brumby today announced a $4.9 million Victorian Government injection towards a major project to revitalise a Murray River icon to lure even more visitors to one of the state’s most stunning natural attractions.
In Echuca today, Mr Brumby said the investment towards the $14.2 million Port of Echuca Revitalisation project would secure the region’s future prosperity by transforming the already popular and iconic heritage-listed Echuca Wharf into a tourist attraction with first-class visitor attractions.
“We understand how important tourism is to the liveability and sustainability of this stunning part of Victoria and revitalising the port will position Echuca and the region for a bright, prosperous future,” Mr Brumby said.
“The Port of Echuca is home to our state’s largest paddle steamer fleet, contributing about $250 million to the local economy and employing 3000 people. That’s why our Government is committed to ensuring it continues to grow and thrive as a key tourist attraction.
“It is estimated that this project will position the Port of Echuca to attract a further 22,000 people each year. This will secure jobs and attract new tourism to the region, locking-in its liveability.”
The Victorian Government is contributing $4.9 million with the Shire of Campaspe contributing close to $4 million to the project.
Highlights of the $14.2 million revitalisation project will include:
- Restoration and refurbishment of the heritage listed Echuca Wharf;
- Construction of new public viewing areas;
- Streetscape works in High Street Echuca;
- Establishment of a museum promenade for mooring of boats;
- Upgrade of Davies Skyway;
- Construction of Hutchinson’s Path linking wet-dock areas;
- Refurbishment of a large milling shed to showcase the 'Paddle Steamer Capital' display;
- A new historical display centre which will include public toilets, office, and archives;
- Establishment of a hull restoration area;
- Including and suitably upgrading Onion Patch mooring infrastructure in the precinct;
- Establishment of two new retail areas in Murray Esplanade;
- Establishment of a steam garage, volunteers shed and workshop; and
- Car parking to service Onion Patch and the Visitor Information Centre.
Regional and Rural Development Minister Jacinta Allan said the Murray River attracted 1.9 million overnight visitors each year.
“Revitalising key attractions such as the port will ensure more Victorian and Australian holidaymakers discover the natural beauty of the Murray and continue supporting local businesses,” she said.
“The Victorian Government’s $4.9 million contribution will be sourced from the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) which to date has committed more than $511.4 million to more than 283 projects worth $1.34 billion in regional and rural Victoria.”