Katherine’s new town centre took a stumbling step closer to reality this week.
The $22 million project, born from the devastating 1998 flood, to move Katherine away from the river was shortlisted for funding this week.
Both the NT Government and the Federal Government are each planning to tip $11 million into the long discussed project.
To reach the second round final shortlist, one of 16 projects listed nationally, is an unexpected achievement in itself.
Most of the money will be spent doing work most of us will not really understand but are the important infrastructure works – roads, power, drainage etc, necessary for such a big project.
Piece by piece Katherine has already been relocating important bits away from the river – the police station went first, followed not long back by the ambulance and now the fire station.
According to planning documents, Katherine East is a new neighbourhood planned to accommodate growth for the town of Katherine.
Within the concept plan for this area, the Katherine East Neighbourhood Centre is a mixed use commercial concept designed to support this new neighbourhood.
Most people believe a shopping centre anchored by a major supermarket likes Coles or another Woolworths would be necessary for such a neighbourhood centre.
Again, according to planning documents, possible inclusions in the centre are:
- retail and commercial shopping
- tourism accommodation
- lifestyle / retirement village
- education / child care facilities
- medium density residential
- parkland corridors.
“Katherine is the focal point of a vibrant, diverse economic region called the Big Rivers region.
“The Big Rivers region covers around 25 per cent of the Northern Territory with 49 per cent of the region’s residents living in Katherine.
“The region has a broad-based economy with agriculture, mining, tourism, defence and government service delivery the main industries.
“Katherine is located on the road junction of Victoria and Stuart highways, connecting the Ord River and Kimberley regions with the Darwin market to the north and south to Alice Springs and Adelaide.
“Katherine and the Big Rivers region is experiencing a period of economic growth, driving collaborations and creative ventures that are addressing social needs, infrastructure gaps and entrepreneurial opportunities.
“Significant projects such as Katherine’s CDB revitalisation, Australian Defence construction at Tindal air force base, the Katherine Logistics and Agribusiness Hub, multi-million dollar investment into nearby Nitmiluk National Park, onshore gas exploration and development and the Mount Todd Gold Mine are well underway.”
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