Significant grant money that rolled out from the state government last week has yet again largely excluded Byron Shire.
Byron Bay resident and NSW minister for north coast, Don Page, announced the grants on Friday, which he claims will see $6.5 million injected into north coast Crown reserves.
In Ballina, where Mr Page’s office is located, $100,000 has been allocated for the construction of a coastal recreation pathway along the Ballina Shire coast which will connect beaches and townships in that shire.
And while much of the money is part of normal funding for Crown parks management, Mr Page told The Echo the allocation for the Ballina electorate – which includes Byron Shire – has more than doubled, with an increase of $92,876 this year.
In a joint statement with Mr Page, deputy premier Andrew Stoner said the Public Reserves Management Fund (PRMF) had increased by more than $6 million this year.
So why so little for Byron Shire?
Mr Page says that there were only three applicants, two of which were successful. ‘One was a $40,000 grant to the Mullumbimby Showground Trust for the repair of electrical infrastructure at the showground.’
‘The other was $12,091 for the Brunswick Girl Guides Reserve Trust for the renovation of the existing kitchen, including installation of new cupboards and painting of the internal walls at the hall.
‘There was only one unsuccessful application in the Byron Shire, and it was from the Byron Coast Reserve for weed control. I’m advised their application was unsuccessful because they have sufficient funds to cover this project.’
According to www.lpma.nsw.gov.au, managers of any public reserve may be eligible to apply, but preference will be given to those on Crown land.