Stage Two of the Maclean Riverside Precinct.
Stage Two of the Maclean Riverside Precinct.

EXPLAINED: What’s happening with Maclean’s riverfront?

WITH Grafton’s waterfront getting a $6m redevelopment due next year, and a plan for Harwood’s area on show, what has happened to Maclean’s much vaunted river revamp?

With the masterplan for the area created by Cloustons in 2013, the two end pieces of the waterfront jigsaw have been completed, but the missing link through the middle of the town remains untouched.

>>> RELATED: New plans for Harwood riverfront precinct

Clarence Valley Council general manager Ashley Lindsay said while the project remained in limbo, it hadn’t been forgotten about.

“We are still working to try and acquire the Fisheries building, but with bushfires and COVID it has taken a back seat,” he said.

“To get that land the building is on into council ownership is the last piece of the puzzle.

“It’s still on our agenda, it’s not forgotten.”

People from all over the Clarence Valley stopped by to enjoy the first of several picnics along the Maclean waterfront.
People from all over the Clarence Valley stopped by to enjoy the first of several picnics along the Maclean waterfront.

Mr Lindsay said the key was to find an alternative building location which also had waterfront access.

A council property adjacent to the current Maclean SES is a site they are examining, with a rezoning of the land underway to progress a possible move.

There were also heritage issues with the slipway on the mooted site, as well as the current storage of equipment.

>>> PLANS: Grafton’s riverfront to get $6m upgrade

“The buildings that are there are occupied by SES, and until SES are up in running in their new building in Yamba we can’t do anything with those,” he said.

“We’ve got in our budget for 2021 funding to demolish those buildings … so it’s not forgotten about, but there’s a lot of work still to go before we get an outcome that is what we’re after.”

A Fisheries proposal to move a site to Yamba was rejected by council in 2017 after Mr Lindsay said the new site was on crown reserve, and attracted community opposition.

“I believe the council is keen for Fisheries to stay within Maclean, as I don’t believe the jobs that are there we wouldn’t want to see to go to another location,” he said.

Stage 1 of the project was the revitalisation of McLachlan Park while stage 2 was the redevelopment of the Courthouse Riverfront, Foreshore Promenade and Riverside Square.