HORSHAM will be on the way to getting a water play park after confirmation of $2.1 million in funding from the Victorian government.
The money will come from round three of the Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus program, fully funding the shovel-ready water park plan.
Horsham Rural City Council mayor Robyn Gulline said she was ecstatic when she heard the news.
"This really is the lynchpin project that will start to make the river a destination. We are just beside ourselves with excitement for the community. It will be wonderful," Cr Gulline said.
"We thank the government for their support of our community; it really is valued. It is going to assist us to build a regional-class asset.
"People talk about going to Mildura to go to the water play park, well now we are going to have people from Mildura coming to Horsham to visit our water play park."
The park will be located near Horsham Riverside Caravan Park, between the Horsham City Rowing Club and Sawyer Park.
On March 1, 2021, the council had resolved to re-apply for Victorian government funding for the "natural" water play park.
The council also used $350,000 of federal government funds under the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program to contribute to the overall project.
The water play park will feature as a key site in the City to River Riverfront Sub - Precinct development.
In a webinar on July 30, 2020, City to River Riverfront Precinct project manager Sue Newall said the park had been designed to incorporate water into "natural play elements".
"The elements in the space are fitting with the area: We're not having lots of colours," she said.
"You use handpumps, creek beds, rocks to actually play in a natural way so children can control the water as it goes through the cycle.
"There is not large volumes of water anticipated to be going through the site, and what is coming out at the other end, ideally the council is looking at recycling that water back into our irrigation systems."
Built along the Wimmera River, the planned park would consist of four different 'zones' that reflect the Wimmera river catchment area.
The park will be the first of its kind in the Wimmera and South Mallee.
Cr Gulline said the council was hoping to deliver the project "as soon as possible".
"As a pre-school teacher, to me it ticks all the boxes. It is natural, it encourages exploration and creative play. It is just perfect," she said.
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