WORK BEGINS: Member for Page Kevin Hogan with Clarence Valley Mayor Jim Simmons turning the first sod on Stage 2 work of Maclean Riverside Precinct.
WORK BEGINS: Member for Page Kevin Hogan with Clarence Valley Mayor Jim Simmons turning the first sod on Stage 2 work of Maclean Riverside Precinct. Adam Hourigan

Maclean Riverfront Precint work underway

BY THIS time next year it will be possible to walk along Maclean's long hidden riverfront behind the central business district.

However a long mooted boardwalk to complete the project is still some time away.

Construction is set to start on the Maclean Riverside precinct after Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan today turned the first sod on the project.

The Federal Government committed $1.8 million projected last year, and work is now underway in the precinct bordered by McLachlan Park and McNaughton Place.

"This stage of the project will complete McLachlan Park at one end and the Court House Riverfront Heritage Precinct at the other end," Mr Hogan said.

"Once this is completed the precinct will include a viewing platform, picnic shelter, seating and tables, access ramps, a riverside walk which will link the two ends of the park, terrace seating walls, lighting, shade tree and perennial planting.

"This is a great investment for Maclean.

"The revitalised foreshore will generate tourism and draw locals and visitors to Maclean for years to come, while delivering in the short term through the creation of a significant number of local jobs."

Maclean Riverfront Precinct Start: Kevin Hogan turns the first sod on the Maclean Riverfront Precinct
Maclean Riverfront Precinct Start: Kevin Hogan turns the first sod on the Maclean Riverfront Precinct

Council will start consultation next month for the work, and under the terms of the funding, the construction work must be completed by September 30, 2018.

While the pedestrian link will allow access from one end of the project to the other, the current location of the Fisheries building means it is not a continuous walk.

"People will have to walk around the Fisheries building," Clarence Valley Council general manager Ashley Lindsay said.

"We've been negotiating with the state government but the building is right on the water so that impedes the access. You can get around, but you have to walk around."

Consultation on the works will begin in the next month, with work to open the area to the river shortly after, including taking out parts of the levee wall near the Maclean Hotel to provide a similar view of the river as has been done at McLachlan Park.

As for the much anticipated suspended boardwalk to complete the project, there are no firm plans in place past the initial concept, with extensive geotechnical work still to be done for the suspended boardwalk area, and no costings available.

"Obviously long term (the boardwalk) is what the community wants," Mr Lindsay said.

"And (future) funding is critical for it, but the next thing is to obtain public ownership of the Fisheries building," he said.