Discovery centre set to open for first time

A THREE-YEAR redevelopment of the Port of Echuca will give a much-needed boost to the town's tourism industry. 

The discovery centre, the final piece of the Port of Echuca Revitalisation Project, will be unveiled to the public on Saturday. 

The $15.2 million works incorporate the centre, the restoration of the Echuca Wharf and infrastructure upgrades to the street, moorings and carpark. 

The project also included the desilting of the wharf and wet dock precinct, the establishment of the Onion Patch mooring sites for paddle steamers and a series of riverfront walkways to provide easy access for visitors. 

The newly-developed discovery centre offers visitors an interactive and informative introduction to the history of the Port of Echuca. 

Campaspe Shire prosperity general manager Anne Howard said the upgrade would be a major boost for tourism in the town. 

"(The Port) has long been recognised as a major attraction for regional Victoria," she said.

"It got to the point where the attraction needed to be (improved in order) to attract (new people) and to also bring back people who have been there before.

"Also the tourism industry is very competitive." 

Ms Howard said tourism injected $3 million into the town's economy each year and was the area's third largest employer. 

Campaspe Shire Mayor Ian Maddison said the discovery centre would offer something new and different for tourists. 

"It is a state-of-the-art facility which will provide a real focal point for tourism in the town," he said. 

Councillor Maddison said council hoped to start phase two of the project in the near future.

He said it would include redeveloping the log slip and river boat docks. 

Victoria's deputy premier Peter Ryan will open the discovery centre at a community celebration from 11am at the Port of Echuca. 

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