- The project will see the redevelopment of the current wetlands and fauna park on the Western Highway, Kaniva into a cultural and tourism precinct.
- The new centre will include wetland enhancement, visitor amenities including a nature-based, all-access play space and a flying fox, parrot flight area and a native forest fruits orchard.
- The community of Kaniva are behind the project and a range of organisations have lent their support in terms of financial, in-kind, usage and advocacy.
- West Wimmera Shire are the Committee of Management for the parcel of land that will be used for the Precinct so all funding and investment will be for construction purposes.
- The project cost is $1.215m which will comprise the following confirmed and potential contributions:
- West Wimmera Shire Council - $194,630 - confirmed
- Community of Kaniva - $20,200 – confirmed
- State Government $300,000 - to be applied for
- Sport and Recreation Victoria - $100,000 – confirmed
- Federal Government - $585,000 – confirmed
- In-kind and non-financial support (various partners) - $15,200 – confirmed
The process has included extensive community consultation and is supported by a range of local and regional strategy including the:
- 2014 Kaniva and Surrounds Social Infrastructure Study
- 2015 Economic Development Strategy
- 2013-2017 Council Plan
- 2014 Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Growth Plan
- 2012 Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Strategic Plan
- Victoria's Regional Tourism Strategy 2013 – 2016
- 2015 Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Investment Plan
Current project partners (financial) include:
- West Wimmera Shire Council
- Commonwealth Government
- Regional Development Victoria
- Sport and Recreation Victoria
- Kaniva and District Lions Club
- Dept Econ Dev, Jobs, Transport & Resources
- Kaniva Landcare
- The Purple Starfish
- Vic Roads
- Kaniva and District Progress Association
The primary drivers of this important project include:
- To facilitate economic development by offering a strategic, cost-effective and long term infrastructure solution to key cultural and community assets in the region which are currently constrained in terms of capacity and accessibility
- To facilitate economic growth and development in the local region by investing in quality cultural and tourism infrastructure so that the region is transformed into a relevant and competitive participant in the tourism market
- To encourage new, repeat and extended visitation from within and beyond the region by providing a destination for motorists incorporating visitor information, recreational and cultural spaces, physical connection to the local environmental and public amenities.
- To address disadvantage through expansion of existing community and social enterprises, including through a flow on effect of increased visitation to the region, improving mental health and wellbeing in residents and visitors.
- To create an aged and disability friendly experience that addressed the disadvantaged faced by this demographic and their families, including volunteer opportunities to transition to active retirement.
- West Wimmera has one of the lowest population growth forecasts for the whole of Victoria with the population expected to decline by 700 residents or a decline of â16.3% 2011-31. Therefore investment in critical community infrastructure would contribute to population attraction and retention and may act as a catalyst for private and other investment.
- 2011 State Government analysis of SEIFA data shows a comparison for the following areas of disadvantage for residents of Kaniva.
Table 1 – Comparison of disadvantage % of population (SEIFA)
Aged over 65 years
Over 75 years of age living alone
People with a disability
Households with no internet
West Wimmera Shire Council and the communities of Kaniva and Districts would welcome the opportunity to discuss this important project with interested parties.
Mr Mark Fletcher
Phone: 0437 816 505