The southern gateway to Casino has an iconic new public space for visitors and the local community with the opening of the revitalised Casino Drill Hall precinct today.
Set on the banks of the beautiful Richmond River, the $2.5 million Drill Hall site includes a new visitor information centre, a contemporary amphitheatre for community events, an RV and caravan capable carpark, extensive footpaths and landscaping, while the original Drill Hall building is now home to the Northern Rivers Military Museum.
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the renewed space was a boon for Casino – providing both an attractive destination for passing travellers, and a unique hub for community events.
“In 2015 I helped kept the Casino Drill Hall in community hands by giving Richmond Valley Council the opportunity to purchase it from the Department of Defence before going to auction,” Mr Hogan said.
“The community then approached me with a compelling vision to transform the site into a space that would encourage visitors to stop and spend time in Casino, while also creating a place where the whole community could come together.”
“Fortunately, I was able to secure a $1.3 million Federal Government grant to help make that vision a reality.”
“It’s wonderful to see the end result of those efforts – this is a true community asset for the town of Casino.”
The $2.5 million project also received $252,000 from the NSW Government, which helped fund the construction of the new visitor information centre.
Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said with tourism an important contributor to the Northern Rivers economy, it was vital that Casino had ample opportunities to attract tourist dollars.
“With its prime position at Casino’s southern entrance on the Summerland Way, the new visitor information centre is poised to attract passing travellers to learn about and spend time in this wonderful area,” Mr Gulaptis said.
“Visitors with a caravan in tow can easily park, stretch their legs, visit the information centre and stroll around the precinct and down to the banks of the Richmond River.
“The NSW Government recognises that these kind of investments are vital to local communities and I was thrilled to support this project.”
Richmond Valley Council Mayor Robert Mustow said the revitalised site was something the whole community could be proud of.
“With its unique location and heritage the Drill Hall site had huge potential,” Cr Mustow said.
“After having the opportunity to purchase the site in 2015 from the Department of Defence, Council recognised it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a lasting community asset a stone’s throw from the beautiful Richmond River.
“With that in mind, Council commissioned a detailed master plan for the site.”
“Not only has the heritage of the Drill Hall been beautifully preserved, but the finished product has delivered so much more.”
“The community can be very proud of what has been achieved so far and I look forward to progressing the next stage of the project.”