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Shire wants Menindee MDBA representative

Monday, 25th February, 2019

By Callum Marshall

The Central Darling Shire Manager, Greg Hill, has added two points to the Menindee Regional Tourist Association’s five-point plan to improve the town and boost tourism.

The five-point plan, announced last month, includes sealing the Pooncarie Road, setting up of a Native Fish hatchery, better mobile phone coverage, promoting the town through a national media campaign and employing a Tourism Officer.

Speaking to the BDT last week, Mr Hill said the two extra points were brought up in discussions with Rob Gregory and Graeme McCrabb from the Menindee Tourist Association.

Mr Hill said the extra points concerned matters relating to the Darling River and Menindee Lakes.

“We’re asking for funding assistance for the Barkindji Native Title PCB to travel to Canberra for the ‘Water is Life’ national gathering and action, to represent the Darling Barka River,” he said.

“This is not what I’d call an addition to the strategic plan, but it’s just another thing we’re asking for.

The other point is arranging a meeting between the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and the Menindee Water Users Group to discuss the management of the Menindee Lakes system. 

That includes a proposal for the MDBA to employ a Basin representative in Menindee. 

“The discussion I just had (with Rob and Graeme) reinforced the five-point plan alongside these other two other issues which we’ve sort of just tacked on.”

On the five-point plan itself, Mr Hill said sealing the Pooncarie Road and better phone coverage in Menindee were high priorities.

“We’re obviously pushing the Pooncarie Road as hard as we can as well as phone coverage,” he said.

“With some of the bigger projects like the Pooncarie Road, it’d be nice to have an announcement and have the road sealed in maybe three to four years’ time.

“That’s a major project where we could do it by engaging local contractors and keeping employment going in the region.”

On the other points, Mr Hill said support was being sought for the fish hatchery and a big upcoming community event that copuld boost tourism. 

“We’ve asked the Federal Government to assist in the community event Dancing on the Darling,” he said.

“To match the $15,000 the Council’s put up and the $15,000 the state government’s put up.

“So if the Feds come up with another $15,0000 to help there....

“There was also some support for point three of the plan which was for further investigation of a fish hatchery at Menindee.”

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