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Council's attitude to grant applications and long term infrastructure planning will see it left

Editor The Beagle Dear Sir IS ESC READY FOR AN EXPANDED CAPITAL WORKS PROGRAM? The NSW Premier’s announcement that the $4bn proceeds from the sale of NSW’s shares in the Snowy Mountains Corporation are to be spent on regional infrastructure projects is welcome. But is Eurobodalla Council ready for this latest windfall opportunity? Does the general manager have in her bottom drawer worked up quality proposals for major projects reflecting completed discussions of the community’s priorities? Such projects would include completion of the Spine Rd intersection with the highway, straightening of the highway north of the Narooma Bridge, the MacKay Park redevelopment, airport redevelopment, the southern dam, defensive sea level rise public works, and the set of works required in Batemans Bay CBD consequent on the new bridge construction. And high priority work identified in the ROSS report might be added. Council is required to and used to develop a ten year Long Term Financial Plan to annually identify, prioritise, program, cost and publicise major and/or long lead time capital projects. But, with the last LTFP being published in 2015, it appears to have abandoned without announcement this highly desirable piece of planning and community consultation. With such large and unbudgeted capital revenue and expenditure looming in the next few years councillors must insist that this plan is brought up to date and published as the basis for informed community discussion. If for no other reason than council’s future success in grant applications will depend on its ability to demonstrate a coherent strategy, competent project financial assessment and strong public support for its major proposals. Yours sincerely Paul Bradstreet

#Opinion #Council #LocalStateFederal #State

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