ROCKHAMPTON residents now have access to even better leisure facilities following the opening of Stage 1 of the $36 million Rockhampton Riverbank Revitalisation project.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said with new landscaping and outdoor furniture installed last week, Denham St, between East St and Quay St, would be an even bigger drawcard for locals.
"The Australian Government contributed $7 million under the National Stronger Regions Fund to the riverbank area's redevelopment and it is great to see this milestone completed in time for the busy Christmas shopping period,” Mr Chester said.
"The Australian Government is pleased to have supported this world-class redevelopment in Rockhampton, which is not only providing a boost for local contractors working on the project but will have long-term benefits for the CBD.
"Projects like this will help to diversify the Rockhampton economy with a focus on attracting more visitors to support local small businesses and local jobs.”
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the riverbank development would be a significant asset to the city.
"Every city has a focal point for visitors and this will be the start of a re-vitalised Rockhampton and I am pleased the Federal Government was able to contribute funding under the National Stronger Regions Fund,” Ms Landry said.
"The Fitzroy River is a great under-utilised asset and this project will enhance its value. What is also important is that the development provides a blank canvas and opportunity for increased economic activity along the river, and historic Quay Street, which will help to create future jobs in the region.
"Already, we have seen lot of investment in hotel apartments along the river foreshore and Rockhampton is on a cusp to harness even more growth from its river precinct. Over many stages, advances at the river foreshore will make it a wonderful place to visit and make us proud of our city.”
Acting Mayor of Rockhampton Regional Council Tony Williams said the opening came at the perfect time for local residents and CBD traders.
"The redevelopment of this stage has seen more parking and outdoor footpath dining opportunities catered for. This redevelopment, together with the council's Lively Quay Street program, will help attract many more people to the area as Christmas approaches," Cr Williams said.
"I also extend a huge thank-you to our local businesses for their patience while we have gone through this transformation. Already we are seeing so much more vibrancy in the CBD, and this is just the beginning of what is to come.
"The next exciting step will be the opening of the low bank in the new year and we look forward to this entire project being completed so that our whole community can get the full benefit of the Riverbank."
In addition to the Australian Government's investment, the Rockhampton Riverfront Revitalisation is co-funded by Council, with the Queensland Government providing $15 million.