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Reopening of Mackay’s Bluewater Lagoon

Reopening of Mackay’s Bluewater Lagoon
September 7, 2009

Marking the first day of spring after recently celebrating a year of success, Mackay's 3000 metre2 Bluewater Lagoon re-opened on 1st September after a six-week $600,000 renovation project.

The popular Lagoon now offers shading, increased seating and a bigger venue to cater for its patrons.

Mackay Regional Mayor Col Meng explained "since opening on 10th August 2008 the free three-tier swimming lagoon has been a hive of activity, attracting holiday-makers and proving to be immensely popular with the locals."

Manager Recreation Services Onno Van Es said it was imperative to maintain the interest in the Bluewater Lagoon through improvement works such as the recent upgrades.

Works included the installation of balustrades throughout the site, additional outdoor furniture, construction of a new pathway from the middle lagoon to the waterslide, the raising of the perimeter fence, and the installation of commercial umbrellas.

Van Es stated, "ultimately these modifications enhance the safety and comfort of patrons visiting the lagoon - to cater for the growing numbers that we envisage over the next 12 months and for the years to come."

Visitors can now enjoy a larger space, with additional land on the north-western side of the facility.

The Bluewater Lagoon attracted 361,807 visitors in its first year of operations - well above initial estimates of about 200,000.

Van Es added "to have about 160,557 more visitors than expected in its first 365 days is a huge achievement and a credit to all those involved with this facility."

Prior to the six-week closure, customer feedback along with the consultation from operational staff and contractors was assessed and these suggestions were used to help further develop the usability of the Bluewater Lagoon and to devise the work plans.

The $12.7 million facility, funded local, state and federal government, aims to:

• To develop a lagoon-style aquatic facility for the residents of the Mackay Region to provide a safe alternative to beach swimming;
• To attract (and retain) more workers and families to the region by increasing lifestyle attractiveness;
• To provide alternative recreational, social and lifestyle opportunities for residents and tourists, including senior citizens, people with disabilities and youth to promote a healthier community; and
• To provide a response to community demands and expectations.

The Bluewater Lagoon is an integral part of Council's Bluewater Trail masterplan, which encompasses an environmental park, the Catherine Freeman Walk, the Bluewater Quays (near completion) within a 19 kilometre âring of activityâ around Mackay's CBD.

The Bluewater Activation Strategy aims to create a dynamic and competitive City Centre with an attractive and lively waterfront while also creating a network of destinations around the City Centre connected by vehicle or bicycle or on foot.

The end result will be a circum-city route that provides enjoyment for both residents and visitors. Most importantly, the Mackay Bluewater Trail will become a distinctive trademark of our great lifestyle - a source of pride for every person who lives, works or plays in the Mackay region.



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