$5.9M project bonanza

By Robert Muir

A NSW State Government $5.59 million funding package for Federation Council announced on December 21 includes $3.48 million for the Corowa Swimming Pool. 

“This will fully fund the pool based on estimates, and other grants and funds already earmarked for the pool, for Option 4 as adopted by council, with heating also to be investigated,” Federation Council’s General Manager Adrian Butler told The Free Press.

Member for Albury Greg Aplin conveyed the December 21, 2018 announcement as part of an on-going commitment to local councils.

The funding package also includes:

$1 million for the new Howlong Multi-Purpose Hall and Gymnasium proposed for Lowe Square at Howlong.  This will part fund the project, with further final design to now occur, and funds to be sought, now that this commitment has been made.

$434,469 for the Urana Aquatic Centre Leisure Centre Building.  This will fully fund the project based on estimates, and complement community held funds of around $250,000 in cash, and earlier funding received from the State Government under Round Two of the Stronger Country Communities program.

$100,000 for air conditioning for the Corowa Civic Bowls Club.

* $300,000 to upgrade and seal Wemyss Road at Mulwala.  This will complement the Mulwala Ski Club’s grant of a similar amount for internal road works and upgrades to the Max Kirwin Ski Park, to greatly enhance the ability of the centre to continue to attract National events.

* $271,785 in additional funding towards council amalgamation costs

Mr Aplin said he is excited to see work begin on these projects. “These worthwhile projects will improve the lifestyle and amenity of residents with new and upgraded sport and recreation facilities,” he said.

“It will also deliver a much-needed road upgrade and additional funding towards the cost of creating the new council.”

The funding is in addition to the $15 million the NSW Government provided to the council when it was created in May 2016 towards upfront administration costs and to kick-start delivery of community infrastructure.

Mr Aplin said Federation Council is taking advantage of the partnership with the State Government to deliver great outcomes for the community.

“Regional councils do a fantastic job in the face of unique and ongoing challenges and the Government will continue to support Federation Council to deliver for the community,” he said.

Federation Council Mayor Pat Bourke said council was thrilled to hear the news of further funding for Federation Council. 

“To allow the council to continue in earnest with finalising designs and calling for construction of the new Corowa Pool complex, knowing that it will be fully funded or close to, without the burden of significant loan funding, is terrific news,” he said.

“The other projects are also long-held priorities for those areas, and to allow such a large amount to be directed to kick starting a much needed Community Centre at Howlong, is also great news. 

“The Mulwala Ski Club has long lobbied council to upgrade Wemyss Road, and it didn’t qualify under any road funding given the many other higher priority roads within the shire, but to invest in this on an economic development and tourism basis is a great way to continue to ensure Mulwala can continue to attract world class ski events.

“Council will be working in earnest over the next two and half years to deliver these exciting projects, and I can’t thank enough the NSW Government and particularly our local Member Greg Aplin, for the support they have given Federation Council.”

Before the latest State Government announcement of $5.9 million, Cr Gail Law voted against council submitting a full application to seek funding for the $9.1M Lake Urana project, a project reported on recently in The Free Press.

Referring to all the major projects for which State Government funding has been obtained or sought, she expressed concern looking ahead. 

“They’re all going to require maintenance in the future,” Cr Law. “It will be an ongoing cost forever.”

But Cr David Longley preferred otherwise. “The funding won’t last forever.”