Mayor of the Dubbo Region Councilor Ben Shields has welcomed the announcement of $10 million from the NSW Government to develop new and improved facilities and experiences to grow the regional visitor economy.

Councillor Shields is particularly excited about this as it was one of his key election commitments, with the process starting by way of a Mayoral Minute in June 2018.

The funding is being delivered through the Regional Growth: Environment & Tourism Fund, after a successful application from Dubbo Regional Council, which will provide an additional $3.4 million dollars towards the project.

The project to receive the funding, Destination Dubbo: International Ready, will deliver on three international-ready tourism products that will drive visitation and grow nights of stay.

The three projects include:

  1. Old Dubbo Gaol Heritage Plaza
    The development of a new public plaza out the front of the State Heritage listed Old Dubbo Gaol, in the heart of Dubbo’s CBD. The development of the plaza will reclaim the original footprint of the Old Dubbo Gaol and engage community and visitors in a public space that celebrates our Indigenous and colonial history.

  2. Dubbo Wiradjuri Tourism Centre
    Construction of a new Wiradjuri Tourism Centre is proposed for Dubbo, alongside the Wiradjuri Park, currently under construction. In undertaking initial consultation, Council has worked closely with the community, including the Dubbo Aboriginal Community Working Party to develop the concept for the application. The Tourism Centre will be a cultural experience unlike any other in the world. The Centre will not only be a source of pride, education and cultural preservation within our own community, but will also provide a unique experience for national and international visitors. The Tourism Centre will house sacred and significant artifacts, including carved trees. Council is working closely with the community to get more of these culturally significant artifacts back on country.

  3. Macquarie River Foreshore Event Precinct
    Development of a state-of-the-art outdoor events arena with the capacity to attract major festivals and events. It will include a stage area, sound and light infrastructure to attract major events, and support for local community events. Importantly, the development of a new foreshore precinct focused on events and activation activities will support the CBD, major private developments, and deliver on the community’s desire to embrace and activate the river corridor.

Once developed, the three experiences will also be linked with other key visitor attractions through physical and interpretive trails.

“Destination Dubbo is working to deliver on Council’s vision to establish our region as the number one inland visitor destination in NSW and Australia, both for Australian families and international visitors to NSW,” Councilor Shields said.

“In addition to delivering incredible economic outcomes such as increasing visitor expenditure in the region by an estimated $23 million a year, by 2025, these experiences will support important social and cultural outcomes for our community”, he said.

“These projects will be delivering on a number of strategic priorities as identified in our Community Strategic Plan including: Aboriginal culture is celebrated, Enhancement of the Macquarie river corridor, and maintaining The Old Dubbo Goal as a premier tourist attraction.

Council will continue to work with the community to progress the concepts for each project. Projects will be under construction simultaneously, with expected completion in 2022.


Image caption: CEO Michael McMahon, Councillor Greg Mohr, Mayor of the Dubbo Region Ben Shields, and Director of Culture and Economy Natasha Comber, Manager of Regional Experience Jamie Angus, and Manager of Marketing and Economic Development Josie Howard at the announcement.

Last Edited: 15 Oct 2019

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