Woolgoolga Beach Reserve Carpark removed from potential grant funding

Funding for future works on the Woolgoolga Beach Reserve Carpark was removed from a Council funding allocation in the Stronger Country Communities Fund. Photo: Emma Darbin.

 

THREE important regional projects will be submitted to the latest round of the Stronger Country Communities Fund for potential funding, following a recent resolution made by Coffs Harbour City councillors.

The projects include sports lighting at Ayrshire Park, Boambee ($165,500), female change rooms for hockey ($495,500), and the West Coffs Cycle Way project ($543,500).

Council staff had originally proposed nominating to allocate only $223,500 to the West Coffs Harbour Shared Path, Gundagai Street cycleway project and to allocate $320,000 to the Woolgoolga Beach Reserve Carpark construction in Carrington Street.

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However, Cr Sally Townley moved an alternate recommendation at Council’s meeting on Thursday 10 June to remove the proposed funding for the Woolgoolga Beach Reserve Carpark and transfer it to the West Coffs Cycle Way project.

“We’ve had a few goes at trying to get the West Coffs Cycleway project across the line,” Cr Townley said at the meeting.

“It’s a big project and it requires big chunks of funding.

“We’ve had a couple of goes at trying to put those chunks and I would recommend to councillors that we perhaps use this opportunity to get more of that project completed.”

Cr John Arkan questioned allocating the cycleway project two lots of funding and removing the funding for the Woolgoolga Beach Reserve Carpark in Carrington Street.

“I adore the West Coffs Cycleway and I understand it needs a lot of funding,” Cr Arkan stated.

“There is funding of $223,000 this time and some funding to fix that massive problem over there in Carrington Street that Woolgoolga is facing.

“I would suggest a little for both would be an appropriate way, as opposed to taking away a project altogether in this round of funding.”

Cr John Arkan said Carrington Street needed “a lot of work done to it now” and likened the street to a “mud slop”.

“That street there needs a lot of work really quickly,” Cr Arkan said.

Cr Keith Rhoades also spoke against the alternate recommendation.

“I come from the school of if there’s a pot of money, try and give it to as many as you possibly can,” Cr Rhoades said.

“The community would get a feeling of, ‘there’s a little bit of something in there for me’.”

Cr Rhoades said he believed the West Coffs Cycleway project would attract government funding to assist with its completion.

“I believe the worthiness of that project, it will attract government funding to see it’s progress completed in shorter than the anticipated time,” Cr Rhoades said.

“It is a good project, there’s no doubt about that, but when you look at those facilities for the Carrington Street Reserve Carpark project there’s a lot in there for a very broad and strong cross section of our community.”

Cr Michael Adendorff supported the additional funding for the West Coffs Cycleway project and said the completion of the project was “long overdue”.

“I’m pleased to see it’s moving in the right direction,” Cr Adendorff said.

Cr Paul Amos said Woolgoolga had already had its fair share of funding lately.

“The West Coffs Cycleway from memory has been bumped three times,” Cr Amos said.

“If I was a keen observer living out at West Coffs I would really be asking why this project has been bumped three times and looking for a fourth.

“We’re talking about dividing money up through our community, I don’t think Woopi’s missed out much lately.”

Cr Arkan stated that the West Coffs Cycleway project was not being “bumped”.

“The motion actually has money going towards the cycleway so it’s not really being bumped, there’s money there for it in this round,” Cr Arkan affirmed.

Cr Arkan urged councillors to support the original Council staff motion to fund all four projects.

“It’s a balanced approach of allocating funds across the LGA,” Cr Arkan said.

“The balanced approach I think councillors is important, the funds were allocated in a fair and balanced way.

“I can guarantee that the removal of $320,000 from the Woolgoolga Carrington Street area will put a dampening on a really big problem there at the moment.”

Cr Townley’s alternate motion to only apply for funding for the three projects and remove the Woolgoolga Beach Reserve Carpark funding allocation was approved.

Council endorsed that the following three projects be submitted to the Stronger Country Communities Round Four for funding, including sports lighting at Ayrshire Park, Boambee ($165,500), female change rooms for hockey ($495,500), and the West Coffs Cycle Way project ($543,500).

The NSW Government has committed $100 million through Round 4 of the Stronger Country Communities Fund to support community projects that increase the liveability of regional NSW communities.

This includes up to $50 million for projects that enhance female sporting facilities and increase female participation in sport.

Successful projects will be announced in September.

 

By Emma DARBIN

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