Coalition's Maclean boardwalk election promise
FEDERAL Member for Page Kevin Hogan has made his first election promise to the Maclean community, in the form of $1.8 million to complete the revitalisation of Maclean's Riverside Precinct.
Joined by The Nationals deputy leader and Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash at McLachlan Park yesterday, Mr Hogan said he was excited to announce the funding, which would ensure the completion of stage two and three of the board walk extension from McLachlan Park to Riverside Square, and beautification works at McLachlan Park.
"When the re-distribution (of electorates) was announced and I started coming to the community and talking to people, the riverside precinct was being talked about a lot by local people," he said.
"I had to twist the minister's arm pretty hard to secure the funding... but the plans were there, it was ready to go and it was costed. It's all started and ready to go so for us it was an easy one to say well look, we'll finish it for you.
"We're really excited about this project and why I'm really excited about it, I think it's going to continue to grow Maclean's vitality.
"When tourists come here and start to do that walk and access between those two parts it's going to be fantastic not only for locals, but tourists."
Ms Nash said about 20 jobs would be created in the area during construction, with ongoing jobs expected to trickle through the region in the form of expanding tourism and business.
"We at The Nationals are focusing on growing our regional communities, in that we want our regional communities to be strong and sustainable into the future so we know our children and grandchildren will either want to stay in, or return to the region," she said.
"We do know how important beautification is and developing precincts around towns like is because then it just gives that focal point which grows the community and grows the region."
"Kevin Hogan has been absolutely tireless in pushing for this, in advocating this. It simply wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Kevin making sure he was the advocate for Maclean, to ensure this became a reality."
And while the incumbent Federal MP is hoping to be re-elected to the seat of Page when voters go to the polling booth in three weeks, the project will go ahead with or without Mr Hogan, as long as the Coalition is returned to power.
"Elections and making commitments to communities is part of the process and I'm really happy I got this one got up," he said.
The announcement was clearly welcomed by locals who gathered at McLachlan Park to hear the word first-hand, with Maclean 'lifer' and Maclean Scottish Association president Bob McPherson calling it "the best news the community of Maclean could possibly hear".
"Over the years bad planning and bad councils have not addressed that beautiful waterfront value to the community and let commercial people put up sheds and block it all up," he said.
"Now it's a difficult job for council to come back and open it up again so I think the board walk is the answer. It allows people to embrace the river and open it up again.
"It's music to my ears."