PHOTOS

Half million dollar Melling Park upgrade unveiled

HUGE FAN: Meanwhile swimming champions Minna Atherton and Alex Grant sign autographs at one of the new barbecue tables. Pictures: Andrew Messenger.
HUGE FAN: Meanwhile swimming champions Minna Atherton and Alex Grant sign autographs at one of the new barbecue tables. Pictures: Andrew Messenger.

West Glen Innes' newest park is officially open, after political big brass joined swimming champions to lift the veil on a the spruced-up Melling park on Sunday.

Federal MP Barnaby Joyce said he hoped a new walking and bike path linking Melling park with Grey street will help bridge more than the railway tracks.

"We're all very aware of how the western side of Glen Innes always had that at times a disconnect from the rest of town," he said in his speech at the official ribbon-cutting

"What's good about this is it creates that connection between western Glen Innes and the town."

Named in 1967 in honour of Dorothy Mellings, a kindergarten teacher at Glen Innes West Infants school for 28 years, the upgrade cost the state government half a million plus the federal government just shy of a quarter of a million.

The park is immediately next to the school, and shares a fence.

Council threw a party for the official opening on Sunday, featuring bouncing castle, scouts activities, face painting and packed crowds.

Meanwhile swimming champions Minna Atherton and Alex Grant signed autographs at one of the new barbecue tables.

PLAYTIME: Mayor Carol Sparks says she hopes residents enjoy the new park, as dozens of kids get good use out of the new equipment behind her. Pictures: Andrew Messenger.

PLAYTIME: Mayor Carol Sparks says she hopes residents enjoy the new park, as dozens of kids get good use out of the new equipment behind her. Pictures: Andrew Messenger.

Mayor Carol Sparks said she hopes residents enjoy the park's new equipment.

"Melling park has been a part of west Glen Innes for many years but has been underutilised as a public space," she said.

"This space is for young and old, for active and passive recreation, for playing with your children and grandchildren, for walking the dog, for reading a book, for having a BBQ with the neighbors, for getting fit and for chilling out."

NEW PARK: MPs, swimming champions and the mayor symbolically unveil the new park at the official opening on Sunday. Pictures: Andrew Messenger.

NEW PARK: MPs, swimming champions and the mayor symbolically unveil the new park at the official opening on Sunday. Pictures: Andrew Messenger.

State MP Adam Marshall, who also spoke at the opening, used the occasion to sing the praises of the next big project - an upgrade of the turbine blade park.

Marshall traveled to Glen Innes last year to announce the state government would help fund the upgrade and to build what he called a "Wellness Trail" to encourage people to walk rather than get in their cars.

He said people were already walking the route, but were jumping the railway tracks to do it.

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