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    Johnny Gorton.

Horsham riverfront plan developing

By Dean Lawson

Wimmera River user groups in Horsham will continue to provide feedback on a draft concept plan for the city’s riverfront before council leaders release designs to the broader community next month.

A draft concept plan includes accessible landscaping, a natural water-play area and siting for a cafe by the river.

Riverfront activation is the first part of a long-term project to improve and enhance seven precincts included in a City to River Masterplan.

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Horsham Rural City Council adopted the masterplan in November last year.

The overall project already has a guaranteed $3-million in funding based on Commonwealth and state government and council contributions.

The council has also applied to Sport and Recreation Victoria, SRV, for an additional $3-million to develop a natural water-play area between Horsham Caravan Park and Horsham City Rowing Club.

If successful, the State Government would provide the grant as part of SRV’s one-off Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program, which is offering $64-million across the state.


Project Community Reference Group chairman Johnny Gorton said feedback from riverfront user groups would shape the precinct’s draft concept plans.

“We want to show the draft concept plans to the wider community as soon as we can and we’ll seek feedback from the community to ensure the draft plan picks up on good suggestions and advice,” he said.

“But first there is some groundwork to be done with the key stakeholders including traditional owners and user groups within and close by the precinct.

“That’s happening right now and already valuable information has been received from rowing and angling clubs, Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, the miniature rail group, with additional meetings due to take place throughout July.

“These discussions will help us get to a concept plan that addresses technical, cultural, social and functional issues, prior to be taken out to the community for meaningful and valuable feedback.”

The Horsham community presented more than 500 submissions about the river and its surrounds as part of a City to River Masterplan engagement process, which has helped provide direction for landscape architects’ drafting of the concept plan.

The Community Reference Group’s role is to shape engagement and feedback management. It includes three community, eight community organisation and four council representatives.

“As a group we are focused on seeking community feedback to make the riverfront an even more inviting place for everyone now and for generations to come,” Mr Gorton said.

The group will provide updates about the project, its engagement plan and how the public can provide feedback on it through the council’s Riverfront Activation webpage, on Facebook and council advertisements in newspapers.

The entire July 1, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!