Waroona's Railside Park bringing the community together
The transformation of the Waroona town centre has reached a new milestone, with Stage 1 of Railside Park now complete – bringing the inland community located between Mandurah and Bunbury together like never before.
The new multi-generational park includes a pump track, skatepark, junior playground, fenced toddler play area, grassed open space, a Noongar six seasons garden and picnic area.
Supported by over $1.2 million from the Australian Government, $4.4 million from the Western Australian Government, $541,000 from the Shire of Waroona, and $1 million from the locally established Alcoa Waroona Sustainability Fund – the new facilites were brought to life at a community twilight event on Friday.
Situated on South Western Highway and stretching down to Fouracre Street and the Waroona train station, Railside Park is also the new home of the Waroona War Memorial, which has been relocated to allow for more significant commemorative services.
Along with bringing the community together within the town centre, the transformation of 11,500 square metres of previously underutilised land is expected to draw visitors, providing tourists with a reason to stop and spend time in the town.
The next phase of this project will be to restore the two existing buildings within the precinct.
These are the heritage-listed Irrigation House office and the Big Shed, which will both be repurposed to create additional event and café/restaurant space.
Additional artworks are currently being developed for installation in the first half of 2024.
The ideas and themes for these were developed with input from the local community, and will include carved timber bush poles, large format murals and sculptures.
Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Regional Development and Local Government, Kristy McBain MP:
“I started my career in local government because I wasn’t happy with a decision that was made about a playground in my own community, which is why I know that it’s incredibly important for all levels of government to invest in dynamic spaces that bring people together for recreation and events.
“It’s fantastic to see these new facilities at Railside Park in Waroona in action, with this reimagined community hub to encourage more locals and visitors to spend time in the town centre - stimulating local businesses.”
Quotes attributable to Senator for Western Australia, Louise Pratt:
“Railside Park is a key element in the Shire of Waroona's Town Centre Revitalisation Strategy, so it is great to see this fantastic project up and running.
“The revitalised town centre will deliver up to 20 per cent boost to visitation to the community, which means potentially over 20,000 extra visitors bringing $840,000 of additional visitor expenditure each year.”
Quotes attributable to Western Australian Minister for Regional Development, the Hon Don Punch:
“I’m pleased to see the Waroona community taking full advantage of the revamped Railside Park, with the Cook Government injecting $4.4 million to get Stage 1 works off the ground, as part of our commitment to improve economic, recreational and social opportunities in regional communities across Western Australia.
“From community days, markets, and youth events – these upgraded facilities will mean locals spend more money at home, with convenient RV parking to entice more people travelling across our great state to experience everything that the Waroona town centre has to offer.”
Quotes attributable to Waroona Shire President, Cr Mike Walmsley:
“The community was instrumental in identifying the need for a central hub that allowed locals and visitors of all ages to join together while simultaneously creating stronger linkages in the town centre.
“For some time, our residents felt there was a lack of activation in the Waroona town centre, and that had created a breakdown in connections between business in town and the community.
“After extensive consultation, the Shire was able to formulate a plan and secure disused land to develop our new heart of our town centre.
“The support of the Australian and WA governments has been pivotal in bringing Railside Park to fruition, particularly in light of price escalations post-COVID.
“The Twilight Community Celebration will allow all our residents to come together to commemorate the opening of Railside Park, while having a bite to eat, enjoying a band and participating in some fun activities.
“We believe that our new multigenerational space will be the start of a new era for our community and that there will be many special moments like this to come.”