Currently open to the public as an arboretum and wetland, Kiama Council’s Jerrara Dam has long been regarded as an under utilised asset with massive potential, given its size, location and beauty.
Four years after its decommissioning, Council is to commission a consultant to further consider the feasibility and business cases of two options highlighted in a 2016 Report on the site’s potential.
The options to be further investigated for the 53 ha site are for it to be utilised for eco-tourism (including fishing and horse riding) and as an eco-resort.
“Council has a strong view about the need to generate alternative sustainable financial revenue streams,” says General Manager, Kerry McMurray.
“Potentially, Jerrara Dam could diversify our visitor accommodation stock to form a sixth bow to our five holiday parks.
“This stage is still very much about clarifying the concept. The detailed work on the business plan and the business case, outlining the investment needed and the return on investment, is a long way off.”
Mayor Mark Honey says the other eight options outlined in the original Report will not be further investigated.
“We need to invest in something that will generate income, so we get some sort of financial return for putting the needed infrastructure into the site.”
Council’s Tourism Opportunities Plan identified the site as having the potential to provide a range of nature-based visitor experiences. Activating the Dam site is also a priority for the Kiama Economic Development Committee.
There is no intention to sell the property, but for Council to develop it to maximise its income potential.