The Macquarie River Foreshore Event Precinct is proposed to deliver a multifaceted precinct for both large and small events whilst being a vibrant and activated public open space precinct for the Dubbo Region. The precinct will allow for community connection through local events, large national concerts and recreational activities.
The proposed construction will be a state-of-the-art outdoor event arena with dedicated stage area, sound and lighting at Ollie Robbins Oval. The precinct will enable the attraction of major year-round events/festivals to Dubbo and ignite new economic growth initiatives in this location. In addition, the construction will encourage daily recreational activities in an environment that connects the community to the river foreshore.
The design allows functional community pedestrian usage, contained community event staging of up to 300 people, and the flexibility to reverse the stage setting to face north, allowing an open, expansive stage touring event capacity of up to 10,000. The design has taken into consideration a one in 100 year flood event.In line with the adopted funding strategy and expression of interest process Council is currently negotiating with the NSW Government in relation to existing funding agreements to support completion of Macquarie River Foreshore Event Precinct before November 2025.
Event Precinct Flythrough
Community and industry consultation has been undertaken to provide advice on valuable community direction, industry expertise, operational requirements, and multi-use opportunities.
Consultation was undertaken in 2019 for the development of the Macquarie River CBD Masterplan that included the public exhibition of the plans, a community consultation workshop (over 40 stakeholders), and broader community consultation of a pop-up stall at the Dubbo Farmers Markets. The development of the Event Precinct was the second most preferred element identified, behind the boardwalk (now Shared Pathway). The completion of these 2 major components of the master plan will greatly enhance the recreational and entertainment opportunities for the Dubbo Region.
After the selection of the architect, Lahznimmo, further consultation of the design of the event precinct was undertaken with key stakeholders. Based on industry stakeholder feedback a detailed project scope document and a revised architecture plan aligned to the Dubbo CBD Master Plan was completed.
Stakeholder Engagement completed for the event precinct includes but is not exclusive to the following:
- Questionnaire sent to 302 members of Dubbo Region Event Network
- Questionnaire sent to 80 NSW event Industry professionals
- Questionnaire sent to DNSW Regional Events Department
- Macquarie River CBD Master Plan feedback
Council thank the various community groups, organisations, individuals and local event organisers who have provided this project with their valuable time, views and expertise.
Through the development of the Macquarie River Foreshore Event Precinct design, Council worked closely with the local event industry organisations who gave their expertise and time.
An extensive EOI (Expression of Interest) process for architecture services attracted 27 quality applications from around Australia, and resulted in the development of three detailed designs for panel decision. The process resulted in appointment of Lahznimmo Architects
Project partners include:
- Lahznimmo Architects
- SDA Consultants
- ADP Consultants
- Turner Townsend
- Public Works
The design responds to community pride of region and operational functionality with amenities available to the public on a day to day basis. The design is adaptable, multifaceted, and has taken into consideration a one in 100 year flood event. The design allows functional community pedestrian usage, contained community event staging of up to 300 people, and the flexibility to reverse the stage setting to face north, allowing an open, expansive stage touring event capacity of up to 10,000.
Funding available for the Macquarie Foreshore Events Precinct is $5,010,614 available through the NSW Government - Regional Growth Environment and Tourism Fund and Dubbo Regional Council. This is to include construction works, underground services, landscaping and interpretation.
Whilst a number of key milestones have been achieved project construction has been delayed due to funding challenges as a result of increased construction costs since funding was applied for in 2018 and some site specific heritage challenges.
At its July 2023 meeting Council resolved to implement a funding strategy to support completion of the Macquarie Foreshore Events Precinct. The strategy involved reallocation of unspent funds from the Regional Growth Fund for the Wiradjuri Cultural Tourism Centre to complete the Macquarie Foreshore Events Precinct and Heritage Plaza. Council are engaging with NSW Government as funding partners on this request. The Strategy also involves Council applying for funding from the Australian Government to complete the Wiradjuri Cultural Tourism Centre.