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Wonderful Wetland Work Wows

The once-contaminated Urunga Wetlands site on the mid-north coast has been re-opened to the public following a $10 million program of remediation and parkland work.

A comprehensive remediation plan by the Soil Conservation Service has been the key to the transformation wetlands, which were officially opened by Minister for Lands and Forestry, Paul Toole.

“What was once a degraded area is now a beautiful parkland for the community to enjoy,” Mr Toole said.

“The remediation work has seen around 36,400 tonnes of soil and sediment treated and isolated. Water quality has also improved significantly, both on the foreshore of the Wetlands and downstream.”

The site was contaminated by pollution from a nearby ore processing plant in the 1960s and 1970s.

As well as the remediation work, the site also has a new 150 metre wheelchair-accessible boardwalk and a 450 metre walking track, which are already proving a hit with the locals. It is hoped that the successful transformation of the site will also boost tourism to an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The project has also provided a boost for the local economy, employing 150 people and calling on the services of around 250 local businesses over the last 18 months.

The project was funded by the NSW Department of Industry – Lands and Forestry ($7 million), the Division of Resources and Energy, Derelict Mines Program ($2.3 million) and the NSW Environmental Trust ($700,000).