LOOK: An artist’s impression of the proposed new Marine Rescue tower at North Wall, Ballina. Image courtesy of architect Dominic Finlay-Jones.
LOOK: An artist’s impression of the proposed new Marine Rescue tower at North Wall, Ballina. Image courtesy of architect Dominic Finlay-Jones. Contributed

Funds needed for new Marine Rescue tower

A DEVELOPMENT application could soon be lodged for the new Marine Rescue tower at Ballina, with councillors endorsing a revised design and costings for the building.

The long-awaited facility is now estimated to cost just over $2 million - an increase of $300,000.

The new design includes the refurbishment of the public toilets, a revised site layout to improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, construction of a carpark and demolition of the old tower.

But funding this important facility is still a major problem.

Mayor David Wright and general manager Paul Hickey will continue to pursue funding opportunities from the Federal and State governments.

The council has allocated $1.75 million towards the new Marine Rescue tower.

In the 2013/14 financial year, $100,000 has been set aside for the project, but it is dependent on property sales and the finalisation of an insurance claim associated with the Lennox Head Cultural and Community Centre.

"This means that construction of the facility cannot proceed until the funding sources for 2014/15 are confirmed," the council report states.

"The council position has consistently been that other levels of government (State or Federal) should be funding this project, in part or in full, as the service provided is a State Government based service.

"Unfortunately, to date, there has been no funding commitment from the State Government, with the only possibility of funding being a pre-Federal election announcement from the then member for Page, Ms Janelle Saffin, of $750,000 from the Regional Development Australia Program.

"The new Federal Government has subsequently confirmed they will not be honouring this commitment."

New Page MP, Kevin Hogan, said the new Marine Rescue tower "was a really worthwhile project".

"I've spoken to the council about the Stronger Regions Fund and it's going to be in round one as an application of the Stronger Regions Fund when it opens next year," he said.

COSTS OF THE NEW TOWER

  • Design and project management: $117,490
  • Construction of new building: $1,311,709
  • Refurbishment of public toilets: $133,245
  • Demolition of existing tower: $33,000
  • Construction of car park: $164,344
  • Environmental items: $9680
  • Contingency: $265,420


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