River St upgrade delayed again

THE long-awaited upgrade of River Street in Ballina could be delayed once again after Ballina Shire Council failed to secure a $4 million grant from the Federal Government.

Mayor Phillip Silver said Page MPJanelle Saffin had told him the application was unsuccessful.

“It’s disappointing. We will just have to see how the property sales go. I understand a few of the industrial blocks have now been sold after the auction,” he said. Sales revenue would go toinfrastructure costs.

“It’s just a matter of looking at our budget. We can only do it as the money rolls in,” the mayor said.

Last year Cr Silver vowed to find the $8 million needed to finish the River Street upgrade, saying it should be the council’s highest priority.

Ballina Chamber of Commerce executive officer Nadia Eliott-Burgess said the news was devastating.

“But on the positive side, the council has committed $4 million to upgrading one of the remaining sections,” she said.

“While we understand the competing priorities of the council, we consider the town centre to be the heart of the shire and crucial to attracting visitors.”

Ms Eliott-Burgess also called forsupport from the Federal Government.

“If we are going to have the population being projected then we really need some help up here,” she said.

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