Toonumbar Waters retreat, nestled on Toonumbar Dam and National Park near Kyogle, is waiting to be reopened.
Toonumbar Waters retreat, nestled on Toonumbar Dam and National Park near Kyogle, is waiting to be reopened. Susanna Freymark

Amazing investment opportunity 'just sitting there'

AFTER three years "just sitting there" following its closure in 2016 the fate of Toonumbar Waters Retreat still hangs in the balance until a new operator comes in.

WaterNSW and Kyogle council are calling for expressions of interest for a new lessee or buyer of the retreat, which boasts accommodation for up to 60 people and an "amazing potential just waiting to be unlocked."

The retreat is nestled on the Toonumbar Dam near Kyogle - which is the only "eco-tourist recreational hot spot" in the area that visitors can drive a powerboat on.

But Kyogle Mayor Danielle Mulholland said ongoing negotiations to ensure the retreat's ongoing availability as a visitor accommodations facility had been stalled by WaterNSW.

"The government is not coming through on their commitment," Mayor Mulholland said.

"That accommodation is not being utilised, it's just sitting there, and the infrastructure is deteriorating

"It's a fantastic space in terms of recreational tourism and eco tourism - there's so much potential -and if it was to open again, would provide more of an economic boost to the town."

Kyogle Council CEO Graham Kennett explained why the negotiations with WaterNSW had stalled.

"The retreat is on a precinct controlled by WaterNSW," Mr Kennett said.

"Water NSW are not allowed to deal in the land at the moment because everyone is still waiting to the land matters to be resolved and the land to be put in WaterNSW's name.

"The land is still in the name of the minister of water and there is about 4000 pieces of land in NSW that are caught up in the same process.

"The latest update is that about 2000 of that will be dealt with in the next couple of months and then within six months the remainder will be dealt with but we are not sure which of those, Toonumbar Waters Retreat lies in."

He said council had suggested WaterNSW should make the additional investment of $400,000 in the retreat to bring it back up to the standard that it should be for the facilities that exist now.

"We've have sealed the 7km of gravel road, which was seriously containing the number of potential customers," he said.

"We've invested into the bells bay camp ground - and put in an application for funding to upgrade the boat ramp facility and pontoon out at Bells bay," he said.

"It's frustrating, but we just have to wait, if anyone is interested in buying or leasing to operate the retreat, contact Kyogle council."