River precinct facelift

North East Tourist News - - Wangaratta -

WAN­GARATTA’S Ovens River Precinct has re­ceived the thumbs up from visi­tors and lo­cal busi­nesses as the $3.3 mil­lion project opened to the pub­lic dur­ing spring.

Ten months af­ter work be­gan in De­cem­ber 2012, fences were taken down in late Septem­ber prior to the of­fi­cial open­ing.

The precinct has been com­pared to wa­ter fea­tures in towns like Be­nalla, Shep­par­ton and Bendigo, where paths and spe­cial ar­eas can be utilised near rivers and lakes.

Soon to be res­i­dents in Wan­garatta, Rob and Joy Barr agreed the money to­wards the project had been well spent.

“It’s been great, there’s been a num­ber of peo­ple walk­ing up and down,” Mrs Barr said.

“There could even be the pos­si­bil­ity for another restau­rant to hap­pen along here too,” she said.

Jake Bowtell and Tahleah Styles, along with Asha Ryan, took time to stroll the precinct in­stead of the Ovens River banks be­low where the trio would usu­ally walk.

“We re­ally liked the way it has turned out, es­pe­cially the rusty ef­fect,” Ms Styles said. “It’ll be a great com­mu­nity space.” “When we moved here two years ago, we looked at this space and thought it could be a nice sum­mer fea­ture to have here,” Mr Bowtell said.

“I guess that came af­ter hav­ing spent some time in Be­nalla, and see­ing how sim­i­lar spa­ces were used there.

“We would walk down here nearly ev­ery day in sum­mer, but to have this, it’ll be much nicer.”

Univer­sity stu­dent Si­mon Rus­sell was im­pressed.

“I think it’s come up re­ally good, I grew up here, but it’s much bet­ter than what it used to be,” he said.

Photo:luke­plum­mer

CHILLED OUT: For­mer Wan­garatta res­i­dent Si­mon Rus­sell wan­dered down to the precinct on his break from univer­sity in Mel­bourne.

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