Project boom

January 03, 2018

More than $2.5 million in infrastructure upgrades have already been earmarked for Jerilderie in 2018, with Murrumbidgee Council awaiting funding approvals for a number of others valued at more than $1.6 million.

The bulk of the funds will be delivered through the guaranteed Stronger Communities Major Projects program funding, provided to council when it was formed through the merger of the former Murrumbidgee and Jerilderie shires in 2016.

Of the $10 million allocated to the council by the NSW Government as a merger incentive, $2.41 million has been allocated to Jerilderie.

Seven major projects for Jerilderie have been submitted to the NSW Government for advice and approval, but council general manager Craig Moffitt has said it will not be possible to pursue some at this stage.

The combined value of the seven submitted projects is almost $3.7 million, meaning some will be unsuccessful.

Overall across the council area, proposed projects under the Stronger Communities program for Jerilderie, Coleambally and Darlington Point were more than $13.7 million.

‘‘We believe we will be able to fund maybe 10 projects from the entire priority list across the three towns,’’ Mr Moffitt predicted.

‘‘There’s quite a massive benefit to the community in all the projects proposed.

‘‘They will provide ongoing support for the community, more than the economy — they don’t necessarily create long-term jobs, but it makes the towns nicer for the community.

‘‘When the money runs out from the major projects grants the unsuccessful proposed projects still stay a priority and next time we get more money, we’ll do the next project on the list.’’

Mayor Ruth McRae said the funding allocation was a huge bonus for the three council communities.

‘‘We’re very mindful this is an opportunity to put in place infrastructure that will have very high usage and support our community into the future.

‘‘We are moving forward cautiously because we want to make the right decisions, but are mindful there are other opportunities that will become available.’’

Mr Moffitt said many of the submitted projects were asset renewal works, including a proposal to replace the Jerilderie Pool, which he suggested had become uneconomical to maintain.

The Jerilderie Pool project has been costed at $1 million.

Other priority projects for Jerilderie include:

●An additional town water entitlement that will increase water supply to the town ($700,000);

●Replacement of Jerilderie water treatment and storage ($800,000);

●Funding for the new Wunnamurra Aged Care independent living units ($400,000);

●A new community initiative to provide long day care in Jerilderie ($500,000);

●A new Yamma Hall playground ($40,000); and,

●A new toilet block at the Jerilderie Showgrounds ($250,000).

A funding application for the Yamma Hall playground has also been submitted under the NSW Government’s Community Building Partnerships.

Mr Moffitt had said announcements of the Community Building Partnership and Stronger Communities Major Projects grants were expected in December, but that council is still awaiting a response.

He said successful Stronger Communities projects would be announced gradually, ‘‘project by project’’.

Two of the projects submitted under Stronger Communities have also been submitted for funding under the NSW Government’s separate Stronger Country Communities funding stream.

Council has applied for $1,117,620 to replace the Jerilderie Pool, and $252,005 for the Jerilderie Showgrounds amenities block.

Other guaranteed funding for the Jerilderie community is $90,000 from the Heritage Near Me funding stream announced in October.

It will help fund a $110,000 project to ensure The Willows Jerilderie is fit-for-purpose as a museum or gallery space.

Building works are expected to start this year, once the heritage works are signed off by the Office of Environment & Heritage.

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