Murrumbateman village continues to prosper

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MURRUMBATEMAN: Ten years ago it consisted of a servo, rural supplies store, a hairdresser and a milk bar.

But big things are in store for the Yass Valley’s fastest growing area.

A new 52-room single storey hotel is under construction as part of the new Fairley development on the Barton Highway at Murrumbateman.

Those who have driven through Murrumbateman lately would have noticed construction at the northern end of the village on the Barton Highway, with the first stage of the 100-block residential development well under way.

Fairley is being built by Shaw Projects, owners of Murrumbateman’s Shaw Vineyard Estate.

The new subdivision is named after a Murrumbateman teacher of the 1800s and will include a commercial and tourist precinct, boutique brewery, café, bakery, visitors centre, childcare centre, children’s park, medical services and post office.

“It will add 60 per cent more housing to the village and trigger infrastructure and commercial developments,” Graeme Shaw said.

Construction is expected to begin in late 2016.

The Yass Valley Council predicts  a major hotel will increase tourist accommodation in the area by 30 per cent.

The Fairley development on the Barton Highway at Murrumbateman. PHOTO: Briony Barac.

The Fairley development on the Barton Highway at Murrumbateman. PHOTO: Briony Barac.

The hotel will be part of the Abode chain, and will be built by parent company GEOCON.

Local businesses and wineries are throwing their support behind the hotel, including Shaw Vineyards, Helm Wines, Yarrh Wines and McKellar Ridge Wines, all agreeing that quality and affordable accommodation is essential for tourism and the growth of the area.

Nick Georgalis, Managing Director of GEOCON, says a major goal of the hotel—the first Abode outside the capital—is to fit into Murrumbateman, aesthetically and with its functionality.

“The hotel will feature a large, flexible foyer space and public area that can be used for a range of activities and will complement the local area,” Mr Georgalis said.

“In addition to the hotel rooms, there will be some suites to accommodate larger groups, including wedding parties.”

Neil McGregor and Fiona Wholohan of Yarrh Wines, say the Abode Hotel will be a major boost and the ‘sooner it’s built the better.’

“We get regular enquiries from visitors about where to stay in Murrumbateman and, of course, options are pretty limited,” said Mr McGregor.

“The hotel will make a big difference – serious food and wine tourists want to stay within the region and close to the vineyards and wineries, to really immerse themselves.”

The owners of McKellar Ridge Wines, Brian and Janet Johnston, agree.

“Murrumbateman Cool Climate Wine Country is becoming a ‘must visit’ wine region and having more quality accommodation and services available in the village will enable wine enthusiasts to stay and sample fine wines at the cellar doors, only a short drive away,” Mrs Johnston said.

And Ken Helm, of Helm Wines, says the Abode Hotel will also add a ‘new dimension’ for residents and businesses of the Yass Valley Shire. Day-trippers who typically stay in Canberra because accommodation is limited, will now be able to stay in the historic area. Inevitably tourists will boost the local economy by buying items such as petrol, wine, and specialist food, he said.

Mr Shaw said Fairley will be the first residential subdivision of land in Murrumbateman since 1876, bringing a new generation of residents into the local community and giving older residents who have lived in the area for some time and who don’t want to leave, the opportunity to downsize.

Fairley development, Murrumbateman

Fairley development, Murrumbateman

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