A first-of-its-kind light installation along the Murray River will help attract tens of thousands of visitors and pump tens of millions of dollars into the Far West economy, under the NSW Nationals’ vision to position outback NSW as a major global tourism destination.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the interactive light show, being brought to life by a $4.99 million grant from the NSW Government’s Regional Tourism Activation Fund, would put Wentworth on the ‘must visit’ list for tourists from all over the world.
“Locals had a dream to light up the wide open plains – and we’re excited we can help make that a reality,” Mr Toole said.
“We’ve seen what Vivid does to drive tourism and light up Sydney and now we have a chance to light up this corner of the Far West and help transform it into an internationally renowned tourist destination.”
Mr Toole said the interactive light show, set to music, will give visitors the chance to see the Wentworth area in a whole new light, creating a drawcard for more than 178,000 visitors a year.
“This is such an exciting project for Wentworth and I can’t wait to come back and see it for myself when it opens in 2024,” Mr Toole said.
“The light installation will be supported by 15 glamping sites and food stalls and trucks that will be a permanent fixture to be leveraged by the community for decades to come because we’re investing in the tourism of tomorrow.”
Wentworth Shire Council Mayor Tim Elstone said he looks forward to seeing this project come to fruition, not only for its economic value but to experience the translation of this amazing concept into the community.
“By creating a new exciting attraction for all the world to see, it is hoped that this will inspire our creative community and help provide further cultural opportunities into the future,” Cr Elstone said.
Work on the installation by internationally renowned artist Bruce Munro is expected to start in the second half of 2023.
The exhibit will become a long-term feature of the Wentworth tourism experience.
The NSW Government’s first round of the Regional Tourism Activation Fund is injecting more than $1.4 million into three projects across the Murray region (electorate) – including the Regional Wine Hub in Griffith, Bullanginya Arts Walk in Barooga, and accessibility upgrades at the Deni Ute Muster site.
The $180 million Regional Tourism Activation Fund is part of the NSW Nationals’ $3.3 billion Regional Growth Fund, designed to support growing regional centres, activate local economies and improve services and community infrastructure for regional communities.
For more information, go to: www.nsw.gov.au/RTAFund.