Media release | 24 August 2021
The Atherton Drive foreshore at Urunga has been given a facelift following the completion of more than $344,000 work by the NSW Government.
Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey said the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment – Crown Lands has sealed the reserve road, undertaken foreshore remediation works, and removed derelict buildings to restore public open space.
“The Kalang River foreshore at Atherton Drive is an iconic part of Bellinger Heads State Park and a valuable asset for Urunga and NSW,” Mrs Pavey said.
“The reserve is popular for active and passive recreation, including picnicking, sightseeing, fishing and boating, so we’re committed to enhancing and protecting it.”
Latest improvement work included:
- 730 metres of Atherton Drive bitumen sealed, from the boat ramp at the west end, through to the sealed road at Morgo Street at the east end;
- Several derelict structures removed from the reserve, including the old scout hall, scout hall boat house, and buildings at 3 and 5 Atherton Drive, which were posing a safety risk due to structural concerns; and
- Foreshore restoration works including a rock revetment to stabilise the riverbank and removal of waste to improve public amenity.
Mrs Pavey said the road upgrade has enhanced the reserve and will significantly reduce ongoing maintenance costs, as well as sediment and erosion issues which have been impacting the surrounding waterway after heavy rain.
The next proposed upgrades under the Atherton Drive Foreshore Masterplan will include picnic facilities, and a shared walking and cycling path, subject to community consultation.
“Crown Lands has also assessed expressions of interest to restore and reactivate four disused boathouses at 9, 15, 17 and 18 Atherton Drive,” Mrs Pavey said.
“The current Bellingen Shire Development Control Plan 2017 will limit adaptive reuse of the boathouses to short-term visitor accommodation.
“The boathouses have character and heritage appeal, so if they can be viably restored, they would help attract more visitors to the foreshore.”