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A tourism destination – Port Wakefield’s $2.8 million makeover

PHOTO – Bek Soddart, Port Wakefield Rising Sun Hotel
Abbie Tiller

Funding boost secures initial stages of Port Wakefield’s rejuvenation

A $2.8 million transformation for Port Wakefield’s iconic tidal pool and main street will soon get underway, with a goal to transform the highway town into a tourism destination.

Primary Industries Minister, Clare Scriven, was in Port Wakefield on Thursday May 30, to announce a $1 million State Government grant, through the PIRSA Enabling Infrastructure Program.

This injection of funding towards the Celebrating Port Wakefield’s Cultural Connection project, which has already been supported with $619k from the Federal Government’s Local Road and Infrastructure Program and $500k from the State Government’s Open Spaces & Places for People program, will see Edward Street transformed over the coming year.

Alongside Wakefield Regional Council’s (WRC) contribution of $200k for the tidal pool dredging and $500k for upgrades to Edward Street, the recent funding will bring the project total to $2.81 million.

Wakefield Regional Council Mayor Rodney Reid, CEO Darren Starr, Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis, Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Clare Scriven and CEO of Narungga Nation Aboriginal Corporation Doug Milera at the Port Wakefield tidal pool.

Works will include a Town Centre Plaza on Edward Street, tree planting, footpath and accessible ramp upgrades and the establishment of an Indigenous art trail leading to the foreshore precinct. The current tidal pool boardwalk will be replaced with a new compliant bridge, allowing kayakers to paddle underneath and providing better access to the water for swimmers.
Capping it all off is the long-awaited dredging of the tidal pool.

The town’s repurposed RSL building will be the centre of the new Town Plaza, which has the potential to host regional events, local markets, as well as a new food and beverage destination housed in the heritage limestone building.

Wakefield Regional Council Mayor, Rodney Reid, said this project had been a long time coming and paired with the dual
carriageway through Port Wakefield, the time to activate Edward Street was now.

“We’ve known that Port Wakefield has needed an upgrade for a long-time but we were cautious of what might happen with the highway upgrade,” he said.
“Now that project is completed, we can reinvigorate Port Wakefield and draw people into this great town. Council has done an enormous amount of consultation with the community to ensure this project delivers the community’s vision all the way from the highway along Edward Street to the foreshore precinct.

Through our masterplan, we’ve worked towards something that will work for both residents and tourists, with the end goal to make Port Wakefield a tourist destination, more than just a thoroughfare.”

“This funding will give the project the boost it needs to deliver our vision for the area,” Mayor Reid said.

“It’s going to be very exciting times ahead in Port Wakefield. We’re incredibly thankful for the State Government support towards this project.”



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