The tragic death of a three-year-old girl in Dumaresq Creek has led to urgent works by Armidale Regional Council

REMEMBER: Tributes at the scene of the drowning at Armidale Dumaresq Creek in September 2016. Photo: Matt Bedford
REMEMBER: Tributes at the scene of the drowning at Armidale Dumaresq Creek in September 2016. Photo: Matt Bedford

THE three-year-old girl who tragically died in an accident at Dumaresq Creek in 2016 sparked a coronial inquest.

Now, Armidale Regional Council will follow the coroner’s preventative recommendations.

Chief executive Peter Dennis said the report to council was in response to a tragic incident and councillors needed to recognise that.

“We are fully supportive of the coroner’s outcomes and fully committed to meeting the requirements which from a council perspective were two-fold,” Mr Dennis said.

“More importantly council have carefully considered the longer term implications and it was one of the triggers for the broader Dumaresq Creek Master Plan.

“That’s an opportunity to work with the community on the longer term plan for that creekland.”

DROWNING: Police attempted to revive the young girl but were unsuccessful. Photo: Matt Bedford.

DROWNING: Police attempted to revive the young girl but were unsuccessful. Photo: Matt Bedford.

The coroner recommended urgent works, including signs on the bank warning people of the drowning hazard.

Vegetation will be cleared from the creek by the end of March. 

Cr Ian Tiley said undertaking the urgent works is important.

“We’re showing the community that we’re serious about doing what the coroner indicated we ought to do,” he said.

Council is calling on the public to shape the direction of the space.

Consultants McGregor Coxall will deliver the master plan and will follow Dumaresq Creek and include the surrounding parkland east to Taylor Street and west to Albion Park.

Mr Dennis said the plan is a “complex piece of work”.

“It needs to be mindful not only of the community’s aspirations for that area but also needs to take into account flooding and hydrology which is a key issue,” he said.

“Also the longer term contamination issues which have been a long term issue down in that creek.”

Mayor Simon Murray said council values the history of Dumaresq Creek.

“This master plan will focus on the creeklands area closest to the Armidale CBD with subsequent plans being developed in the future for the outer areas east and west along Dumaresq Creek,” he said.

“The area is an important shared space for the whole community and is a focal point for regional events, tourism and community recreation. It is also a top priority that the creeklands and Dumaresq Creek is a safe space for families to enjoy.”

The consultation period opened on March 5 and will end April 7.

In the mall engagement centre, community members can take part in a mapping exercise, fill out an online survey at yoursay.armidale.nsw.gov.au, visit pop up stalls at the markets or take a site walk on April 7. 

An Advisory Group made up of key stakeholder representatives has been established to work with consultants.

This story Three-year-old creek drowning tragedy sparks urgent works first appeared on The Armidale Express.

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