FOLLOWING ministerial approval for the use of internal Council loan funding and the awarding of a State Government grant, Coffs Harbour City Council has now finalised its funding arrangement for the Airport Enterprise Park development.
The final funding for the Airport Enterprise Park (AEP) development will comprise a $10 million Federal Government Grant (Regional Growth Fund), $10 million State Government Grant (Restart NSW Fund), and $5 million Council Internal Loan (Sewer Fund).
At Council’s ordinary meeting on Thursday 11 February, Cr Paul Amos questioned whether Council’s figure of $25 million was going to be the final figure for the development.
“Is it set in stone, or is there likely to be some variations upon this,” Cr Amos asked Council.
Council’s General Manager Steve McGrath stated that work portions A and B of the project were known and were within budget, but that work portion C, the final stage of the development, was not going to tender until mid 2021.
In 2017, Council resolved to advance the initial stages of the Airport Enterprise Park development and seek ministerial approval for internal loan funding of $10.5 million from its Water and/or Sewer Funds.
This funding has been subsequently approved from Council’s Sewer Fund by the minister, and included in Council’s budgets.
At its meeting on 14 November 2019, Council received an update report on preliminary works, cost breakdown and funding for the full Airport Enterprise Park development of approximately $25 million.
On 18 November 2020, it was announced that Council was successful in its Growing Local Economies grant application for $10 million from the State Government for the development.
A recent Council report on the project stated, “it is anticipated that the site will attract a mixture of business enterprises as well as new aviation enterprises to the area”.
“This in itself will boost employment for the long term and provide great economic benefits to the Coffs Harbour region,” the report stated.
The report also stated that Council has a probity plan in place to “guide the ongoing AEP development to ensure proper decision making processes are followed, conflicts of interest are managed and Council’s reputational risk is minimised”.
Council is continuing to work with consultants, together with a dedicated project manager, to advance the project, with completion of the Airport Enterprise Park development expected by April 2022.
By Emma DARBIN