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Tourism boost for Maitland

Crown land
The Walka Water Works site. Credit: Adam Caddy
The Walka Water Works site. Credit: Adam Caddy

An historic Crown land reserve at Maitland, Walka Water Works, will receive a $10 million boost thanks to Round Two of the NSW Government’s Regional Tourism Activation Fund.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Taylor Martin said Maitland City Council, Reflections Holiday Parks and Crown Lands had partnered on a joint bid for the funding.

“Walka Water Works is one of the state’s most unique public sites serving the Hunter since 1887 as a source of water, then power and now recreation and heritage,” Mr Martin said.

“This plan aims to restore Walka Water Works to its former glory and invest in additional improvements that can make it a tourism magnet for the Hunter Valley.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the Regional Tourism Activation Fund supports local economies and local jobs by backing unique tourism experiences that will attract visitors and showcase what regional NSW has to offer.

“We know regional NSW has Australia’s best tourist destinations and experiences. We want to amplify that by helping create new experiences and drawcards that put more heads on beds and attract more tourism dollars into regional communities,” Mr Toole said.

“The projects backed through the $150 million Round Two of the Regional Tourism Activation Fund will give domestic and international visitors even more great reasons to experience the best regional NSW has to offer.”

Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson said the Department of Planning and Environment – Crown Lands will contribute a further $1.5 million to improve the reserve and support development of the tourism experience.

The historic Pumphouse at the Walka Water works site
The historic Pumphouse at the Walka Water Works site.

“Maitland has enormous tourism potential and this project will improve this historic site, attract more visitors, support local businesses, and improve community access to the broader area and walking trails,” Mr Anderson said.

Maitland Mayor Phillip Penfold said: “It’s great to see this funding come through from the NSW Government to get the historic Pumphouse Building returned to the community for weddings, hospitality and more. I'm really excited that the community will be able to enjoy and use this iconic building once again.”

CEO of Reflections Holiday Parks Nick Baker said Reflections would also contribute a further $1.6 million to the project:

"Reflections is excited to partner with Maitland City Council on this successful grant application which will deliver new accommodation options for visitors to Maitland, while enhancing community access and amenity,” Mr Baker said.

“We look forward to working with Council and the community to develop plans for a mix of accommodation offerings, including cabins and powered caravan and camping sites. The sites will be sensitively integrated into the overall Walka Water Works precinct in a way that complements the existing activities available on the site.”

Reflections is a Crown Land Manager and Australia’s only social enterprise holiday park group, reinvesting profit into Crown Land across New South Wales.

Round Two focuses on accelerating the development of high impact tourism and events infrastructure that will increase the international appeal of destinations in regional NSW and boost the visitor economy through increased visitation and job creation.

The $180 million Regional Tourism Activation Fund is part of the NSW Government’s $3.3 billion Regional Growth Fund, designed to support growing regional centres, activate local economies and improve services and community infrastructure for regional communities.

For more information, go to: www.nsw.gov.au/RTAFund.