We know Walka is significant to the entire community. We know there are diverse interests and views about Walka. To dispel any inference that the Council is trying to resolve concerns by only speaking to individuals, we have decided that responses to specific enquiries will be published here so they are available to the whole of the community.
Our vision for a revitalised Walka Water Works is taking shape, with $15.1 million in funding secured and a revised scope of works now determined. Read on to find out more.
In January 2023, the NSW Government announced $10 million in funding through Round 2 of its Regional Tourism Activation Fund, with co-contributions from Crown Lands, Reflections Holiday Parks and Maitland City Council taking the total funding allocated for Stage 1 up to $15.1 million.
Following this announcement, the scope of works for Stage 1 has been revised – this is because our original grant application asked for $20 million, out of a total project value of $25 million, from the NSW Government’s Regional Tourism Activation Fund.
Revised Stage 1
Less money means scaling back from what was initially proposed. The revised scope of works includes:
- Partial restoration of the 1887 Pumphouse building, including the ground floor of the main building to allow for activation, and the Eastern Annexe to reopen it for weddings and functions
- Remediation and partial upgrades to the car park
- Improvements to the Pumphouse lawn as a wedding and event site
- Onsite accommodation including access road, cabins (10 to 12) and powered sites (40), camp kitchen and BBQ area
- Sewer, water, electrical and civil works
- This won't impact access to the site for recreation users, such as walkers, bird watchers and picnics
- Entry is free
Expressions of interest for a CLG representative in the 'local resident with environmental expertise' category are now open
Due to a change in circumstances, a vacancy has opened for a 'local resident with environmental expertise' to join 14 other community representatives from various categories on the Walka Water Works Community Liaison Group (CLG) to work with Council for the project's duration.
Expression of interest closes on 14 June 2023.
For more information on the role and responsibilities of the Walka Water Works CLG, please read the Terms of Reference.
Frequently asked questions (following revised Stage 1 scope of works)
Let's talk about Walka
- Walka is not being privatised. It belongs to the State and is managed by Council.
- Community access to the site will be improved and remain free.
- Without State Government funding large parts of Walka will remain closed indefinitely.
- While Council has money to maintain the site, it does not have funding for remediation and improvements.
- The Heritage listed Pumphouse Building will be restored and reopened.
- Weddings will return to the site .
- Less than 4% of the site will be for accommodation and any profit generated will go back into Crown Lands .
- The detailed planning process is yet to start and will include an environmental impact assessment and other studies .
- There is no planned removal of trees.
- We will enhance the natural environment and protect flora and fauna.
- Community consultation will occur throughout the planning and delivery of the project. The Community Liaison Group will be just one part of this.