Aside from some seating and a statue, Orange's homage to Banjo Paterson's birthplace is in need of some TLC.
But long-time campaigner Elizabeth Griffin hopes to change that on February 17 during the upcoming Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival, where she will launch a Friends of Banjo Paterson Park group.
With Orange City Council resolving to put a landscape plan for the park on exhibition for public comment, she said she hoped "a good percentage" of the improvements could be made by the 75th anniversary of the unveiling of the monument by Paterson's wife, Alice.
"I've stopped at the monument when there's been a car there," she said.
"These people from interstate and overseas and I've heard their dismay that that's all that's out there and locals rarely take their visitors out to the park to show them."
A $70,000 state government grant in 2018 funded the plan, including locations for picnic shelters and barbecues, a separate toilet, a Banjo Poetry Walk marked with large granite flagstones featuring Paterson's work, signage, exposure of the Narrambla Steam Flour Mill footings and connecting pathways.
Archaeological digs in November revealed the bluestone foundations, internal wall structures and the boiler housing, with a path planned around the mill footings to help visitors appreciate them without standing on them.
Work will be completed in two stages, with quotes sought for a shelter and barbecue, the footings pathway, the flagstones and signage.
The park currently...
Stage two will involve a toilet, replacing the log fencing and reconfiguring the car park to allow for turning buses, a second picnic shelter and barbecue, a network of paths, plantings and further archaeological work to find the homestead footings.
Miss Griffin said it was an excellent start but she was a little concerned about the number of projects put back into the second stage.
"I hope [stage two] isn't the too-hard basket," she said.
Mayor Reg Kidd had sympathy given he had worked on a previous landscape plan and the trees were dead.
"We did an archaeological dig that we had to do to show that the footings were there, well any builder in Orange could show you where the footings were but we spent a lot of money in there," he said.
"I would have liked to see a toilet block, which is needed to encourage more people to go there because there's no amenities."
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