From the Mayor's Desk

Mayor, Cr Dominic King

I heard recently that Kathryn Wood, Manager of the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre, is retiring and on behalf of Council I would like to acknowledge the very important contribution that Kathryn has made to our local and regional tourism industry.

Kathryn has worked at the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre for twenty two years. During her stewardship, the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre has been recognised as one of the most successful visitor centres in the National Parks and Wildlife network.  Anyone who has visited the Rainforest Centre, would know what a wonderful job they do – not only through the various programs they run around environmental education but also with the high quality products they sell.

Kathryn has worked on many levels to assist Council and our tourism industry. This has included the Bellinger Tourist Association, Tourism Coffs Coast and the Gleniffer Working Group.

I would like to thank her for her very valuable contribution to environmental and tourism management and wish her a wonderful and well deserved retirement.

I attended the Urunga Mylestom Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting recently at Anchors Wharf with Cr Fenton who gave a presentation on Inclusive Tourism and proposed to the Chamber that Urunga was ideally placed to evolve as an Inclusive Tourism Destination.

Inclusive Tourism refers to tourism services and products where people of all abilities feel welcome and wanted as customers and guests.  It focuses on the process of enabling people with a disability and groups with similar access needs to better use tourism services. There are significant economic and socio-cultural benefits to be realised for destinations that choose to evolve with accessibility in mind. Urunga Mylestom Chamber of Commerce is keen to work with their members and local business to this end and I welcome this partnering approach.

Council is very pleased to announce it has been successful in its application for funding under the 2017/18 Tourism Driver Demand Infrastructure Program (TDDI) to progress phase one of the Urunga Foreshore Project. Council acknowledges the importance of the tidal swimming facility to our community and visitors and this is wonderful news in terms of progressing the project.

The project is funded by the Commonwealth Government and administered by the NSW Government through the Department of Industry. The funding of $112,000 is provided on a matched dollar-for-dollar basis. The funding will progress works including a Review of Environmental Factors, Geotech survey to ascertain levels of acid sulphate and potential dredging.

As this is a sensitive ecological area, Council is required to undertake a series of assessments in the first instance. Council will work with a number of key stakeholders, including Crown Lands, to ensure the appropriate approvals are in place prior to the commencement of investigations. Once all the necessary approvals are in place, and investigations allow, Council will undertake dredging to improve the lagoon that will see the tidal swimming facility returned to its former glory allowing our community and visitors to swim even at low tide.

Council is pleased to be working in partnership with the Reflections Holiday Parks who are the managers of the Urunga tidal swimming facility located on Crown Land.  Council and Reflections Holiday Parks will continue to seek funding for subsequent stages that includes infrastructure such as pontoons and gangways further making the Urunga tidal swimming facility an accessible community and tourism asset.

Until next time,

Cr Dominic King
22 February 2018