Toonumbar Dam, near Kyogle.
Toonumbar Dam, near Kyogle.

‘SUCH A SHAME’: Will popular Kyogle retreat ever reopen?

EFFORTS are ramping up to get a popular eco-retreat on the Northern Rivers back open again.

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin has sought the support of the NSW Government to reopen the Toonumbar Waters Retreat to boost eco-tourism.

Ms Saffin said she had a productive discussion with the Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey, last week to explore options.

This followed earlier discussions with Kyogle Mayor Danielle Mulholland and her deputy Cr John Burley.

They do not want to see the WaterNSW-controlled facility under-utilised.

"The retreat, which has accommodation for up to 60 people, has amazing potential waiting to be unlocked," Ms Saffin said.

"I appreciate that Minister Pavey recognises that potential as well and has a good understanding of our aspirations.

"I have opened up a dialogue with the Minister because the land on which the retreat is located is still in the name of the Minister for Water and WaterNSW is not allowed to deal in the land until it is put in WaterNSW's name.

"My understanding is that Toonumbar is one of about 4000 pieces of land in New South Wales that are subject to the same transfer process.

"I have notified Mayor Mulholland of my discussion with the Minister."

Ms Saffin said the accommodation was currently not being used and the infrastructure was deteriorating.

"This is such a shame as it once was a fantastic facility in terms of recreational tourism and eco-tourism," Ms Saffin said.

WaterNSW has called for expressions of interest for a new lessee or buyer for the retreat.

Ms Saffin said she was interested to hear from local residents what they thought of revitalising the retreat and urged them to contact her electorate office on 6621 3624 or