Road resurfacing in north Byron Shire has taken by far the biggest slice of the ‘Roundhouse’ land-sale cash, after councillors voted last Thursday on where the allocation of funds will go.
And while there’s money to be splashed at parks and youth facilities, during public access questions were raised from residents Tina Petroff and Angela Dunlop as to why essential infrastructure such as roads should have to be paid for by the sale of assets.
The open-space projects for the 2016/17 capital works program now include Waterlily Park Playscape ($100,000), Devines Hill boardwalk and amenity improvements ($112,000), and youth oriented recreation facilities for South Golden Beach ($118,000).
Road renewal projects include Beach Avenue, South Golden Beach ($307,200), The Esplanade, New Brighton ($216,000), Orana Road, Ocean Shores ($1,040,024), River Street, New Brighton ($466,800), and Coomburra Crescent, Ocean Shores (part length, $503,276).
Mayor Simon Richardson says it was a hard decision for residents to choose the projects, ‘as many roads and open spaces in the north need additional funding.’
‘Though we don’t have the available funding to complete all of the proposed projects, or the many other community-suggested roads and initiatives, this is a good start on addressing infrastructure renewals for roads and open spaces that are well used and highly valued in the north,’ he said.
Mayor Richardson said what was also heard clearly from the consultation was the reaffirmed need for additional cycleways and footpaths.
He said Council had requested a report to update the available Section 94 developer contributions funds for cycleways plus external funding sources such as grants.
In planning ahead, council will also consider the inclusion of on-road bike paths in future road renewals.
Council say of the $3.8 million proceeds from the former ‘Roundhouse’ land sales, $466,700 had already been allocated to the pavement renewal of Kolora Way between Shara Boulevard and Natan Court.
Plus a further $467,268.05 has been allocated for the new North Ocean Shores Sports Field.
Mayor Simon Richardson said the north Byron Shire funding allocation was part of Byron Shire Council’s Fit for the Future program.
‘It’s a key component to help us address our infrastructure backlog,’ he reaffirmed.
Mayor Richardson also congratulated the north for establishing a North Byron Shire Reference Group made up of community groups.
‘Council looks forward to working together to help strengthen the northern end of the shire and start the journey on developing a masterplan for the area.’
Council say that the allocation of funds was a result of consultation in May, where residents in the north were asked to help prioritise the funding.