An Evening Forum planned for GWYDIR “DISCOVERY” PROJECT.

December 23, 2008

Following on from two enthusiastic meetings between members of the Bingara and District VISION 20/20 Executive, and the regional National Parks and Wildlife Service, and with support from Gwydir Shire Council, an exciting Forum is to be held at the Roxy Theatre in Bingara, on the evening of Thursday, February 19, 2009.

It has been given the working title – GWYDIR “DISCOVERY” PROJECT, and it seeks to identify the Shire’s tourist assets and consider ways to add value to them.

Existing businesses that have tourists and visitors as their customers, along with people seeking work in that industry, and community members who would like to have input, and learn more about our history and environment, are encouraged to attend.

“Two of the main themes of our Community Vision Statement is the expansion of tourism and regional conferencing.” said V2020 President, Rick Hutton. “We believe that the Gwydir Shire provides a wonderful environment in which to explore our natural and cultural world, and we are keen to combine the resources of the NP&WS, and our communities’ knowledge and assets, to expand these themes.”

In November, Vision 20/20 members met with Gary Chorley the NP&WS Senior Field Supervisor and Alan Hill the NP&WS Ranger (Nandewar-Brigalow Group of Parks). From that meeting a decision was taken to explore the development of two of the “pocket parks” that have been gazetted as a result of the re-classification of former forestry land.

“The Molroy Park, on the north side of the Gwydir just upstream from Bingara, and the Stonehenge Park, immediately east of Warialda, were considered to be the most appropriate parks, to start the project.” Rick said. “Both are within walking distance of our main towns, and provide fascinating natural and cultural features.”

In mid December, a second meeting was held, with Rebecca Smith, the NP&WS “Discovery” co-ordinator, in attendance. Rebecca’s role is to organize and provide tours and interactive programs within the National Parks of the eastern inland region. These extend from Tenterfield in the north, to Walcha and Manilla in the south and Bingara and Warialda in the west.

A desired outcome of the meetings was to host a Forum at the Roxy on February 19. Interested people, of all ages, are encouraged to come, to see and hear of some of the things our vast and varied shire has to offer.

The task, to be examined at the Forum, has been given the working title – GWYDIR “DISCOVERY” PROJECT. “It will be a hands-on forum, with some specialist presentations in areas of ecology, cultural history, geography and geology, and some open sessions for input from the audience.” Rick Hutton said.

The planning group believes that the Gwydir Discovery Project has the potential to create jobs, attract, engage and excite tourists, and increase the awareness and pride that our community has for its natural and cultural assets.

Submitted by – Rick Hutton – President V2020 Ph:0428 255 380