$3.3m cash injection for local councils

A CASH injection of more than $3.3 million will flow into our region after the Australian Council of Local Government summit at Canberra on Monday.

The Federal Government announced spending of $300 million to fund its Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program and councils can apply for a share of a further $50 million to fund big infrastructure projects.

Ballina Shire will get $712,000 of the $300 million funding; Lismore City Council will get $1.049 million; Byron Shire will get $609,000; Kyogle Shire will get $401,000; and Richmond Valley will get $534,000.

The money is to be spent by September next year on 'quality of life' projects and to stimulate economic activity at a local level.

Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell said her council would be holding a workshop as soon as possible to decide how the money would be spent. Likely projects included the redevelopment of Nesbitt Park at South Lismore, the youth plaza at the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre and a new Lismore art gallery.

Ballina Mayor Phillip Silver said he would like to see the funds go towards the Lennox Head Community Centre, the Ballina Community Services Centre and the Ballina-Byron Gateway Airport terminal expansion.

All three projects are currently under way, and Cr Silver said the funding could help them complete the projects earlier.

Byron Shire Mayor Jan Barham said the money would be used to advance projects already under way such as the Ewingsdale Road sports fields at Byron Bay. She said her council would be applying for a slice of the $50 million to help pay for the shire's bike paths.

In Kyogle, Mayor Ross Brown said projects that could absorb the funding were reconstruction works at Kyogle preschool, development of the Kyogle ambulance centre, playgrounds at Bonalbo and Woodenbong and work on the Kyogle Showground.

Richmond Valley Mayor Col Sullivan was thankful for Richmond Valley's allocation.

He said a council vote would decide the future of the money, but suggested the funds could help upgrade sporting fields and contribute to a new swimming pool at Evans Head.

Winners?

Nesbitt Park, South Lismore; Goonellabah Youth Plaza; Ballina airport expansion; Woodenbong and Bonalbo playgrounds; Byron Shire bike paths; Ewingsdale sports fields; Lennox Head Community Centre; Ballina Community Services Centre; Evans Head pool.



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