All posts relating to projects in Wentworth Shire

Wentworth EDS Upgrade

Pooncarie Road – project update

Wentworth Shire Council recommenced earthworks on the final 26.5 kilometres of unsealed road between Pooncarie and Menindee in July 2023, following 8 months of flood related delays.

The $9.2 million project is jointly funded on a 50:50 basis with the Australian Government and NSW Government under the Growing Local Economies Fund with Office of Regional Development.

The upgrade allows road users to access the road in all weather conditions, removing over 600km of road detours when the road is impacted by wet weather-related road closures.

Bitumen sealing has now been completed, with guide posts, linemarking and signage underway.

The project is due for completion by the end of November.


Wentworth Civic Centre Project Update

Fibre Optic Symphonic Orchestra to unlock regional transformation in Wentworth

Deputy Premier Paul Toole visited the Wentworth region on 31 January to announce the Fibre Optic Symphonic Orchestra (FOSO) light art installation which will form the NSW side of the Light/State project.

This will be a light art installation combining sound and colour to reflect the unique environment and regional culture through an ambient orchestral light exhibition. The artist responsible for the installation is Bruce Munro, the internationally renowned artist known for the Field of Light at Uluru. The FOSO exhibition in Wentworth and the Trail of Lights at Lake Cullulleraine will form the Light/State project.

Wentworth Shire Council partnering with Mildura Regional Development were successful in securing $4.99 million of funding as part of the Regional Tourism Activation Fund (Round 2), plus an additional $1.26 million from other contributors, bringing the total project to $6.25 million. The project is currently in the procurement stage and installation is likely to be completed in July 2024.

The FOSO installation involves 108 light columns made from cylindrical arrays of fibre optic cables, which encircle an iconic rotary clothes line, the Hill’s Hoist. Measuring 2 metres high and 5 metres in diameter, these colours will be accentuated and timed to the music, to create a unique melodic experience. The installation will measure approximately 220 metres wide and allow access for visitors of all abilities. Furthermore, 30 local volunteers from the arts and entertainment sector will have the opportunity to work with Bruce Munro and assist in the installation of FOSO.

A combination of elevated vantage points will highlight the exhibition grandeur at scale and walk through trails will unlock an immersive experience, with lights programmed to change in colour and brightness in sync with an accompanying symphonic soundtrack.

The light art installation will be supported by infrastructure such as roads, public transport, parking spaces and 15 glamping sites in addition to enabling amenities and food stalls or trucks to be a permanent fixture. Indigenous music will also be a feature of the FOSO project, with musical scores and traditional instruments being central to the soundtrack.

Wentworth Shire Council Mayor Tim Elstone said “I am looking 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.

Mildura Regional Development CEO, Brett Millington added “We’re excited to be able to deliver the whole project of Light/State, which we know will add value to our regional economy and build on further cross-border opportunities.”

The FOSO project will attract an estimated 178,200 new visitors and encourage regional visitation. Through the construction of this infrastructure, the project will inject over $53 million into the local economy and support Wentworth’s tourism, retail and commercial industries – unlocking regional transformation.

Wentworth Showgrounds Community Pavilion Officially Opened by Deputy Premier Paul Toole

The Wentworth Showgrounds Community Pavilion was officially opened by Deputy Premier Paul Toole on 31 January 2023.

The new building, completed in December 2020, replaces the old Barrett Pavilion which served the community for 114 years.

The pavilion will be used by the Wentworth Show Society, several community groups and the broader public.

“On behalf of all Wentworth Showground users, we are really thankful for the funding we have received. This building will be used by all groups and the broader public. It is a great asset not only to the Wentworth Show Society but the whole community” Wentworth Shire Mayor, Cr Tim Elstone said.

Features of the new pavilion include ample meeting and display space, a large kitchen, disabled toilets and plenty of outdoor cover in the event of rain.

“In 2016, a sub-committee of the Wentworth Show Society was formed and given the task of performing all the groundwork towards the fantastic building we are opening today. We thank those people for all their determination, diligence and hard work and look forward to the community enjoying the fruits of their labour for decades to come.”

“At the 2022 Wentworth Show, the Pavilion was used for the first time, after the Show Stewards had thought long and hard on how to fit the Pavilion out with equipment needed to display their sections. The Pavilion looked and worked incredibly well,” Wentworth Show Society President Sholto Douglas said.

Funding for the project came from various sources including a $450,000 grant from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund, Wentworth Show Society’s own funds, Wentworth Shire Council, Wentworth and District Community Bank – Bendigo Bank, RZ Resources (formerly Relentless Resources) and the Dawes family, bringing the total funds to $1.1 million for the project.

There were also donations from the local community to assist with the fit out of the building.

L-R: Mayor of Wentworth Shire Cr Tim Elstone, Deputy Premier Paul Toole, Mayor of Edward River Shire Council Cr Peta Betts and Wentworth Show Society President Sholto Douglas.

Wentworth Aerodrome officially opened by Deputy Premier Paul Toole

Wentworth Aerodrome has been officially opened by Deputy Premier Paul Toole on 31 January 2023.

Wentworth Shire Council was successful in securing $8.42 million of funding from Restart NSW (Regional Growth: Economic Activation Fund – Growing Local Economies Program) in 2019 to provide an all-weather, 24 hour access facility with the capacity for Code 2B Aircraft (15-21 seat planes).

With a $700,000 contribution from Wentworth Shire Council, this brings the combined total for the project to $9.12 million.

The upgrade project included the construction of a new sealed runway, taxiway and apron, aircraft parking areas and the installation of pilot activated lighting. The Civil Construction components of the project were carried out by Wentworth Shire Council staff and project managed by Council. This enabled considerable budget savings.

Additional works on the Wentworth Aerodrome Upgrade commenced in September 2021 following approval from funding body Restart NSW to utilise the project’s savings to upgrade the facility’s secondary runway.

These works included the construction, sealing and installation of AGL lighting to the remaining 600m length of runway 17/35 with the capacity for Code 2B aircraft.

The Wentworth Aerodrome Upgrade Project was completed in January 2022, with operators making full use of the facilities ever since. All works have been completed in accordance with the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) national standards.

This upgrade will support the rural and remote emergency and air freight networks, cater for larger charter aircraft used by the mining and government sectors, as well as cater to air charter tours for international and domestic visitors. This will enable better access to Mungo National Park, the iconic Murray & Darling River Junction and other tourist attractions in the area.

In addition, Deputy Premier Paul Toole announced at the official opening of the Wentworth Aerodrome that $176,108 of funding from the Stronger Country Communities Fund Round Five has been secured to upgrade the airport hangars.

“This will allow the aerodrome to run power to all aircraft hangers, as well as install an automated gate to the tarmac, boosting security for users and increasing the appeal for local aviation businesses. The funding will also allow for the purchase and installation of area navigation equipment, bringing the aerodrome into the 21st century and making take-off and landing safer for pilots.” Mr Toole said.

Willow Bend Caravan Park update

Underground asset services are ready to be undertaken at the Willow Bend Caravan Park site in readiness for the much-anticipated project to move forward.

Following internal Council resources completing the earthwork for the park’s foundation a local contractor in Wall Constructions has been engaged to help progress the major infrastructure upgrade.

In conjunction with contractors, internal council resources will construct retaining walls and install concrete RV pads and footpaths throughout as well as road infrastructure.

Works are scheduled to commence in August to be completed in early 2023 in preparation for the Caravan Park to be operational at Easter that year.

Wentworth Shire Council Mayor Tim Elstone said the prospect of a completed Willow Bend Caravan Park was exciting for the entire Shire.

“Having an accommodation site of that size reopened and able to catch the many visitors who pass through is going to help boost the economy of our entire Shire,” he said.

“I look forward to the local contractors being able to deliver a spectacular Caravan Park in conjunction with Council’s Works teams that will continue to be a focal point for our tourism industry.”

Wentworth Long Day Care Centre update

Members of Wentworth Preschool and Long Day Care Committees and educators Tegan Douglas, Annabelle & Camilla Walsh, Holli Mumford, Thel O’Shea, Breeon Cole, Annita Hawkins and Mandy Bone with Wentworth Shire Council Mayor Tim Elstone after inspecting the progress of the Wentworth Long Day Care Centre.

Construction works are continuing at the site of the Wentworth Long Day Care Centre and Preschool in Murray Street, Wentworth.

The project is a major revamp of the existing Preschool which will further expand its services to meet the community’s needs, accommodating a new entrance and foyer, office, two daycare rooms, staff room and amenities.

Windows and plasterboard have been installed, with the brickwork nearing completion in preparation for rendering.
“To see the building finally coming together is a realisation of a significant amount of hard work across the local community,” Wentworth Preschool staff and the Wentworth Preschool and Long Day Care committees said in a joint statement.

“From those early committee members lobbying to get the idea for the centre going to the period now of transitioning to operations the combined effort of all involved has been significant. The benefit the centre will have not only for the younger children and their parents of Wentworth and District, but also the added structural support for the great team already operating the preschool is incredibly exciting”

Wentworth Shire Council Mayor Tim Elstone toured the facility last week to inspect the progress and was looking forward to its expected impact on the local community.

“When this centre is completed it will provide great benefit to parents who have had to take their children out of town for care while they work,” Mayor Elstone said.

The extension of the existing Wentworth Preschool site is anticipated to be finished in September and is being conducted by CPM Building Contractors, with funding from the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund, Wentworth and District Bendigo Bank and major contributions from the Wentworth Shire Council, David and Liz Dawes, Bob Jolley and the Wentworth community.

The Preschool’s Facebook page has up to date information or please contact the Preschool on 5027 3067 for all Enrolment Expressions of Interests or by email to

SecureEnergy Milestone – First camp and laydown underway

SecureEnergy has hit the ground running commencing one of the first milestones of the EnergyConnect Project with the construction of the first camp and laydown area in Buronga, NSW.

The camp and laydown area is nearly 30 hectares in size and when complete in early November will house up to 400 employees.

The site is currently being prepared to house 200 modules, with office space for 70 desks and a laydown yard that will hold site deliveries, general yard operations, a main office and a range of heavy vehicles.

The main office compound and camp buildings are already starting to roll in, with camp provider APC commencing deliveries from South Australia. 

This camp is one of six camps and seven laydown areas that will accommodate over 1,450 staff for the 700km build.

Local communities from the SA border to Buronga can expect to see construction activities ramp up as SecureEnergy gets on with building Project EnergyConnect – Australia’s largest transmission line.

New Wentworth Health Service site announced

The NSW Government has announced the existing Wentworth Hospital site will be transformed as part of the $30 million Wentworth Health Service redevelopment to enhance health services and facilities for residents of the state’s south-western region.

Minster for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said in addition to announcing the preferred location overlooking the Darling River, the redevelopment’s master plan has been unveiled today.

“The Wentworth community is one step closer to gaining its new health service that will ensure we can deliver better health services for the Wentworth community now and into the future,” Mrs Taylor said.’

“This location, at the existing hospital site, will provide all inpatient bedrooms with a direct view of the beautiful Darling River, offering a therapeutic environment for patients as they receive treatment and care, as well as their families.

“This location is significant to our local Aboriginal community, allowing connection to Country, while also supporting the wellbeing of all patients, staff and visitors to the health service.”

The preferred location was confirmed following a comprehensive review of more than 10 potential sites by Health Infrastructure and the Far West Local Health District, and in consultation with hospital staff, local council and the community.

Duty MLC for Murray Wes Fang said a range of criteria was considered in determining the hospital site including zoning, size, and location.

“The current hospital is located on a large site that will enable a completely new facility to be constructed, while ensuring the existing hospital remains operational as works are completed,” Mr Fang said.

“The site also offers opportunities for future expansion and options to retain the existing staff accommodation buildings, as well as on-site parking for patients, visitors and staff.

“Positioned on the Silver City Highway, it will provide key access for residents in Curlwaa, Dareton, Coomealla and beyond and also reduce the need for patients to travel to Victoria to access health services.”

The community of Wentworth are being invited to share their feedback and ask questions at a series of stakeholder and community information sessions with the project team.

All community are invited to attend the information sessions as follows:

Thursday 21 July 2022
4:00pm – 5:30pm

Friday 22 July 2022
9:00am – 10:30am

Location: Memorial Room, Wentworth Visitors Information Centre, Darling Street, Wentworth.

The NSW government committed $30 million to redevelop the Wentworth Health Service in June 2021. The full range of services to be delivered as part of the Wentworth Health Service redevelopment will be identified as part of the community consultation process.

The construction schedule will be determined after further planning is undertaken.

The Wentworth Health Service redevelopment is part of the NSW Government’s record $11.9 billion investment in health infrastructure over four years to 2025-26, with nearly a third of the capital allocation in this financial year going towards regional and rural health facilities.

Since 2011, the NSW Government has delivered more than 180 hospitals and health facilities across NSW, with more than 130 currently underway – of those, more than 90 are in rural and regional areas.