From ruins to riches
Mulwala Holiday Park DC on the Lake, one of the areas that copped the brunt of the 2013 tornado has turned the horror of the eye of the storm around and is venturing into all abilities accommodation and leisure.
Member for Albury, Greg Aplin recently announced that DC on the Lake will receive a grant of $104,561 to support a $236,491 project to build cabin accommodation and develop an all-access playground at its park site on the banks of Lake Mulwala.
Mr Aplin said the grant support was from the 2017/18 round of the Tourism DemandDriver Infrastructure program, an initiative administered by the State Government to support tourism projects that drive demand and increase local tourism expenditure.
“I’m delighted to announce funding to support the next stage of the DC on the Lake project which will enable the construction of a fully accessible cabin and stage one of an allaccess playground including pathways, landscaping, shaded areas and barbeque facilities,” Mr Aplin said.
“DC on the Lake provides a unique tourism experience in the region and this project will improve the quality of that experience and attract more visitors.”
Owner of DC on the Lake Craig O’Callaghan said the holiday park was wanting to accommodate more people, especially those who are often unable to have little getaways due to the lack of accommodation and accessibility for people with disabilities.
“We heard there was an opening for it and we know of some people that have had motorbike accidents and the likes but don’t get to go on little holidays much because there isn’t appropriate accommodation available so we wanted to create something a bit unique,” Craig said.
“We are also trying to get ahead of the game a bit and by helping accommodate people that aren’t usually catered for and to see them have a good time will be amazing.
“It will be great for the town too I think. Member for Farrer Sussan Ley said the project was another step in a lengthy road back for the park since a devastating storm destroyed much of the facility in 2013.
“I want to congratulate Craig, Deb and the team on the work they are doing at DC - the all-ability features being installed just shows the lengths they are going to and ensuring it.”
After the horrors that faced the holiday park in 2013 and the outlook that they may never recover, venturing into a unique accommodation facility is a major step forward and something even Craig himself could not see happening five years ago.
“I hate seeing photos or videos of what the park and town looked like after that, it was horrendous,” Craig said.
“It took us a long time to properly get back on our feet and we were nearly looking at shutting down at one stage because the damage was so extensive but to be up to where we are now and looking at new projects in the future is just fantastic.
At the moment DC on the Lake is only installing one cabin but if the incentive proves successful they would definitely look into building additional cabins.
“Once it is all completed we’re also hoping to give away a few free holidays for anyone who deserves one of these unique experiences, so we’re going to set up a webpage where people can send us some words on someone they deem worthy and we’ll pick a few winners,” Craig said.
The holiday park also installed an all abilities pool last year, one fit with a flat surface ramp for people to access the water without having to walk down steps and have had great success with the inclusion.
Although paying for the pool out of their own money Craig said it has been successful with people buying the cabins surrounding the pool and numerous people using it daily.
The all abilities cabin that is going to be installed has recently been ordered and although a start date to install it has not yet been clarified Craig said he was hoping to see the project completed by June 30.
“We haven’t fully decided where to situate our all abilities playground yet either because we want it to be in the perfect position for tourists and at this stage we are undecided on an exact location but we’re getting the cabin all organised so we can then move onto the next step,” Craig said.
“We’re also looking at putting in a wheelchair accessible jetty so we can transport people in wheelchairs or using walkers to boats and take them on a trip around the lake.
“The grant is absolutely a good start, we have to match them dollar for dollar but we put the all access pool in ourselves and it has paid off so we’re looking forward to seeing what this project can do.”
The all-access pool DC on the Lake installed last year for people of all abilities to swim in.