CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Phil Nicholas from Live Prawn Productions, Ed Goode of Two Bridges Espresso (who is providing the pre-booked picnics and cooking Speedo's sausages on the day), John Harrigan visiting from Sydney and local Diana Saucedo enjoying the ambience of MacLachlan Park in Maclean with a riverside picnic.
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Phil Nicholas from Live Prawn Productions, Ed Goode of Two Bridges Espresso (who is providing the pre-booked picnics and cooking Speedo's sausages on the day), John Harrigan visiting from Sydney and local Diana Saucedo enjoying the ambience of MacLachlan Park in Maclean with a riverside picnic. Contributed

Community picnickers give new-look park thumbs up

THE JURY'S verdict is in on the controversial rebuild of Maclean's riverside centrepiece McLachlan Park.

The subject of more re-designs than the Sydney Opera House and the centre of controversy over design, cost and the removal of trees, the citizens of Maclean have voted with their feet by attending a picnic in the park at the weekend.

Called the the first Maclean Riverside Picnic, organisers were thrilled to have more than 140 people attend on Saturday afternoon and declare the event a "smashing success”.

Critics might observe that 140 people at an event is not a high percentage of the Maclean population. This would be unnecessarily negative.

Instead, people should be seeing the positive aspect that with the right venue organisers have been encouraged to put on an event such as the Riverside Picnic to capitalise on the magnificent riverside frontage.

Just a few years ago it was possible to drive from the highway through Maclean and only catch glimpses of the river.

The ironically named River St, going through the CBD, nearly masked the river, so the new park, which champions this view, is a breath of fresh air for the town.

Organisers already have worked with local people, including Yaegl Elders for two more events in February and March to further capitalise on this new asset.