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Reimagined Imperial Lakes a ‘mega tourist attracter’

Broken Hill could welcome visitors all year round if redevelopment plans for Imperial Lakes come to full fruition.

Activities and a multipurpose venue are expected to be used as one of the significant pulling powers for locals and tourists.

The vision to upgrade the 58.72-hectare site is on track with Landcare Broken Hill “100 per cent” confident it will acquire the land next month.

“It’s going to be an Australian first,” branch President Simon Molesworth said.

“I believe this will be the number one attraction for the Far West.”

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Prior to the 1970’s the lake was used as a family recreational area. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

The objective is to make the Silver City more liveable and draws on three core components: passive recreation.

The project – likely to be rolled out over three years – aims to offer popular activities such as swimming, row boating, bike riding, walking trails and space for picnics.

“They’ll be so much on offer,” Mr Molesworth said. “I hope if we can prove it can be done here, it can be rolled out in (other parts of) Australia.”

There’s also a dream to establish a paddleboat regatta that all community members and groups can participate in annually.

Event and socialisation spaces are set to become a prominent feature of the reimagined Imperial Lakes.

Landcare Broken Hill has sketched designs for a ‘Sustainability Hub’ that would act as the focal point at the site.

It’s said to be fitted with a café, meeting rooms, retail shop and will be accessible for musical performances and functions.

“I want balconies looking out everywhere,” Mr Molesworth said.

“We want to have a facility for volunteers and ecotourism so visitors, instead of having a half-hour stay, it can be a four-hour stay.”

Landcare Broken Hill will run the Sustainability Hub with the rest of the site under the care of a “handpicked” Broken Hill Nature Parks Trust board.

A nature walk around a “unique” arboretum (botanical garden) is part of the plan.

Landcare Broken Hill branch President Simon Molesworth said the project aims to offer popular activities such as swimming, row boating and picnics again. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

Mr Molesworth said it would highlight local flora in a way that sets it apart from other arboretums worldwide.

“We are not going to copy Canada’s or China’s; we are going to do something unique,” he said.

“We have plants unique to this area that need to be understood. I have a wonderful team that has experience in botany.”

Construction of the project is estimated to cost between $5-8 million and some funds are already in the bank.

Landcare Broken Hill will organise working bees to kick off the initial clean-up at the Imperial Lakes before other plans go ahead.

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