REVEALED: What Lismore’s central park will look like
FRIDAY 9.30am: FURTHER pictures revealing what the $21.5 million Lismore Park plan would look like have been released by Lismore City Council.
The park plan would transform sporting fields between Brewster and Dawson St in the centre of Lismore into a destination space featuring a pedestrian boulevard, a water playground, youth plaza, space for public events and markets, and an events precinct with a stage, cafe and adventure playground.
THURSDAY 5.30am: LISMORE City Council is looking for almost $10 million from the State Government to kickstart the construction of a "world class" park which would bring an extra 120,000 visitors to the city each year.
The $21.5 million Lismore Park plan would transform sporting fields between Brewster and Dawson St in the centre of Lismore into a destination space featuring a pedestrian boulevard, a water playground, youth plaza, space for public events and markets, and an events precinct with a stage, cafe and adventure playground.
It's been billed as a regional drawcard which would drive an additional $18.7 million of visitor expenditure into the local economy each year, according to the council's major recreation and cultural facilities manager Tony Duffy.
"This will be a destination park for Lismore that will create a vibrant public space in the heart of the city that will be there for generations to come," Mr Duffy said.
"This park will give Lismore a focal community space where children and families can play and spend time, sports can be enjoyed, events and markets can be staged, and people can move between Lismore Square and the health precinct and the Lismore CBD."
"It is ambitious in that this type of parkland is world-class and is not usually found in regional centres.
"It will completely transform the centre of Lismore and give our city a unique drawcard in the heart of the Northern Rivers."
The project has been divided into two stages with the council lodging an Expression of Interest for $9.8 million to find stage one, costed at $11.5 million, under the Restart NSW Regional Growth Environment and Tourism Fund.
The State Government fund aims to boost tourist visitation to regional areas by investing in environment and tourism infrastructure.
The Lismore Park plan has been shovel-ready since 2013, and is estimated to create 186 direct jobs in the tourism sector and 77 jobs during construction.
The estimated total rise in output to the Lismore economy is $40 million.
Lismore mayor Isaac Smith said securing funding for the park would be a "massive boost" for the city, drawing tens of thousands of visitors, and a boon for local residents.
"It would provide a space for people to go with family and friends and visitors. And because of the facilities being built such as the water play park, perhaps a night lights feature, a cafe, even an amphitheatre - it just gives the place a vibrancy that's really going to attract people.
"We currently have nothing (there) that is used during the day other than training for an occasional sports squad.
"The busiest part of the current Lismore park is the footpath in Uralba St, so that is not a good sign of the (current) value of the place."
Cr Smith said capital cities all boasted several contemporary inner city parks and regional cities such as Tamworth and Dubbo were doing "great things" with their spaces.
He said the Lismore project definitely met the requirements of the Restart NSW fund.
"It really does tie your economics, your sport and recreation, your community participation all into one proposal," he said.
He also said the park plan included flood-management landscaping such as rock formations and swales to help manage floodwaters in time of flood. "It would be very carefully planned to handle future flood events which do impact the Browns Creek area."
Lismore MP Thomas George said the Lismore community had identified their need for a central public park and he was "more than happy" to take it forward and argue the case for funding the project in Sydney.
Lismore Park proposal
Stage 1, $11.5 million
Major infrastructure works including drainage and underground services, a pedestrian boulevard with room for markets, a water playground, signage and entry, youth plaza, lighting and playground elements.
Stage 2, $10 million
An Events Precinct with performance lawn and stage, café, regional playground, adventure playground, secondary pathways, wetlands and car park.