Murray River projects to link with adventure trail

Dave Austin, of Albury, plays fetch with his dog Lucy, a 3 year old kelpie, on the banks of Noreuil Park. Picture: TARA GOONAN

Dave Austin, of Albury, plays fetch with his dog Lucy, a 3 year old kelpie, on the banks of Noreuil Park. Picture: TARA GOONAN

RIVERFRONT projects started — or on the drawing board — won’t be sidelined by the Murray River Adventure Trail.

The expectation is that these developments will provide a focus for the links created by the trail.

Murray River Tourism chief executive Mark Francis said this would give the trail an even greater diversity.

“It ties together a whole range of individual projects and really creates the final piece of the puzzle,” he said yesterday.

These include projects at Echuca and Kerang and could include the proposed multimillion-dollar riverside development in Albury, though doubts have been raised recently about this going ahead.

Related:Adventure trail to link Lake Hume to Mildura

Mr Francis said being clear about the links right along the river meant no parts were developed in isolation — if that happened such sections “wouldn’t really have an end point”.

“At a local level it creates a product that a local community can access on a daily or weekly basis,” he said.

“And then it starts to link together a lot of the smaller communities.

“Those towns that are very small can be a great stopping point and launch pad for tourism.”

Once a steering committee is set up, Murray Regional Tourism will look at establishing a friends for the trail group in communities right along the Murray River.

The project is not without some barriers.

These include the limited number of bridges across the river, the need for a seasonal closure of parks and roads for “environmental watering” of wetlands and floodplains, the need for cultural heritage assessments and the impact of licensed water frontages.

Maintenance costs for the completed trail could reach about $1.3 million a year, a figure that might be “substantially reduced” if a friends group took on the job.

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