Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall, Inverell Shire Mayor Paul Harmon, Copeton Dam Northern Foreshore caretaker Tom Stapleton and representatives from the Inverell RSM Fishing Club, met last weekend to discuss attempts to secure $5 million from State Government to improve Copeton Dam's Northern Foreshore.
The ambitious plan to bring extra visitors and dollars to Inverell is currently under consideration by the State Government.
Mr Marshall described it as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
"This will unlock the full potential of Copeton Dam and attract more tourists than ever before," he said.
"The Northern Foreshore has long been the Copeton's best kept secret, however, over the last four years it has seen an explosion in patronage with visitation up by almost 400 per cent.
"Copeton is famous for its open Murray Cod season and attracts thousands of people from right across Australia and from overseas to try their luck.
The project would see a new clubhouse constructed to cater for groups, and the existing boat ramps extended.
Improvements to bitumen roads would be made to ensure safe and easy access for boats no matter the water level.
"Inverell Shire Council is looking to expand the existing campground by modernising the amenities and shower block, installing new picnic areas, barbecue facilities, children's playgrounds, fitness equipment, walking trails and disabled access," Mr Marshall said.
"This project is expected to inject a further $4 million into local businesses a year with the extra visitors the redevelopment will attract," he said.
"If the redevelopment is funded it will be a huge win for our entire area with town's like Bundarra, Bingara and Warialda also benefiting from the through traffic as tourists head to Copeton to try their luck in landing a giant Murray Cod.
"Our region is crying out for more holiday destinations which are close to home, affordable for families and accessible to people of all abilities. The Northern Foreshore Upgrade aims to do just that by widening the demographic of visitors who can access the iconic facility."
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