Council seeks community input

Rural villages within the Kyogle local government area have a chance to speak up about what improvements they want to see in their community.

Councillors at the Kyogle Council meeting yesterday agreed to consult with the community about which projects to submit funding applications for under the Federal Government’s Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program (RLCIP) after time restraints were hindering council’s ability to prioritise projects accordingly.

The recommendation at the meeting was initially to apply for $157,000 worth of funding for a number of local sporting facility upgrades and a playground but councillor Ernie Bennett raised his concern about a lack of community input.

Councillor Tom Cooper believes applying for funding to have a tennis court resurfaced over fixing flash flooding issues was not realistic.

“It’s great if you want to play tennis but the courts are derelict because no one is mowing the lawns,” Cr Cooper said.

“The flooding in Bonalbo is a very high priority in the community.”

Kyogle Council mayor Ross Brown moved a motion to hold an extraordinary meeting on July 27 after councillors have consulted with the community about what they perceive to be the neediest projects.

Council must submit their funding applications by July 30.

“We need to make the effort to talk to these communities and let them have a bit of a say before we make a final decision,” Cr Brown said.

Councillor Lindsay Passfield seconded the motion saying it would have been ‘ideal to do a more extensive consultation’ but because of ‘time constraints’ they were not able to do that.

The town of Kyogle is excluded from the funding application as it has already benefited from a $1.2 million grant from the RLCIP Strategic Projects program.

High priority projects have been identified as upgrades to sporting facilities in Bonalbo, Old Bonalbo, Mallanganee, Tabulam and Woodenbong and a new playground in Wiangaree.

Projects not listed as high or medium priority include drainage improvements and modification to open drains in Bonalbo to reduce flash flooding.

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