A Local Government Infrastructure Renewal Scheme (LGIRS) may be on the table in around month, which could assist in boosting Byron Shire’s ailing amenities.
Minister for local government and Ballina MP Don Page told Echonetdaily, ‘It provides councils with an interest subsidy of four per cent (round one) and three per cent (round two) over ten years for loans to address their infrastructure backlog’.
Mr Page added that Byron Council as yet have not applied for the loan; however, mayor Simon Richardson told Echonetdaily that the council didn’t apply for it previously because the then general manager and staff advised against it.
‘For this loan, you need to show that council’s debt is within a certain range,’ he said, ‘It’s like getting a bank loan. When we find out whether we’re eligible, I am open to it.’
Meanwhile, Greens MLC and former mayor Jan Barham told Echonetdaily she is pushing for a parliamentary inquiry that would examine visitor loads on small towns reliant on tourism.
The ‘Tourism Impacts Inquiry’ aims to report on the value and impacts of tourism on local communities.
For example, it would examine: The value of tourism to NSW and return on investment of government grants and funds; the impacts of tourism on local government areas; the difficulties in calculating tourism capacity to inform infrastructure and service provision and management; unapproved and unregulated tourism and employment opportunities for locals and non locals.
She added she is close to getting the support needed for the inquiry to be tabled.