3 December, 2023
Priors Creek project begins
THE first stage of the much-anticipated Priors Creek redevelopment is set to start after Tablelands Regional Council approved a $2.5 million contract for the earthworks.
The approval comes as council waits to hear whether it has been successful in getting to the next stage of a $5 million grant application with the Federal Government’s Growing Regions Program and a $350,000 grant through the State’s Minor Infrastructure and Inclusive Facilities Fund.
Mayor Rod Marti and chief executive officer Gary Rinehart travelled to Canberra earlier this month to advocate for the project and had meetings with Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories Kristy McBain, Senator Nita Green, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development of Australia Catherine King, and Senator Anthony Chisholm.
“It was a very good opportunity to get close to Ministers,” Mayor Marti said.
So far, the project has attracted $1.576 million in funding from the Department Transport and Main Roads as part of its Cycle Network Local Government Grants Program, and $900,000 from the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning.
One of the key deliverables of Stage 1A includes the creation of a new road to link the end of Vernon Street to the end of Jack Street to provide greater activation of and access to the new recreational precinct, as well as improved vehicle circulation generally and carparking.
The works also include the creation of a new “urban plaza” at the end of Vernon Street as a key activity node for outdoor markets and gathering as an entrance forecourt into the precinct.
Four lots will also be created for commercial uses and underground services will be installed as part of the contract.
The works will commence on site early next year and be completed by mid-2024.
Council also approved another $6 million to the contractor, Northern Civil Earthworks Pty Ltd, for the balance of the works in Stage 1A which includes all parklands works, a public carpark and Vernon Street toilet block removal and intersection works.
These works will only go ahead when council gives its approval. The works include:
Streetscape improvement along Vernon Street and Jack Street for greater functionality, pedestrian access and improved visual amenity to better link Main Street and the Priors Creek precinct
Improving parking opportunities for visitors and tourists with recreational vehicles, caravans and trailers.
Improved security through the installation of CCTV enabling infrastructure and lighting.
Creation of a new “Priors Creek Promenade”, a shared pedestrian and cycle walkway along the old railway track alignment.
Substantial landscaping improvements throughout the Priors Creek corridor, and
Parkland infrastructure including shelters, BBQ, seating, public amenities, and power facilities for markets.