Cr Dominic King Mayoral Report

Cr Dominic King

JO UP AND RUNNING
Many of you will be aware that Bellingen Council has joined the Mid North Coast Joint Organisation (MNCJO) along with Kempsey Shire and Port Macquarie-Hastings Councils.  I have said previously that our preference was to include the 6 councils between Clarence in the north and Port Macquarie-Hastings in the south, however it has not played out that way.

We have been informed by the State Government and the OLG that no further North Coast JO will be formed and this has justified our decision to join MNCJO. We also believe that there is a greater benefit for our community to be at the table for the allocation of regionally based funds and also to access the $300,000 seed funding to help set up the JO.

While we wish our neighbouring councils all the best in finding the best-fit for them and their communities, Bellingen is committed to being a part of the MNCJO and working towards our shared goals.

The inaugural meeting was held in Kempsey on 13 June with Kempsey’s Mayor, Liz Campbell being elected as Chair and me elected as Deputy Chair.  The Bellingen community can keep informed on the progress and activities of the MNJCO by following the Fast Link on the homepage of Council’s website at www.bellingen.nsw.gov.au.

SEA LIDO PROJECT
On behalf of Reflections Holiday Park Trust, Council will be undertaking works and project managing the long awaited dredging and renewal of the Urunga Sea Lido.  The Urunga Lido facility was originally established in 1970 with the original walkway being replaced in the late 1980’s and then decommissioned in 1999 due to structural decay.

Grant funds in the amount of $112,000 from the Department of Industry & Tourism under the Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure Program will be used for Stage 1 works which involves dredging at the old facility location.  It is expected that the dredging works will take between 1 and 2 weeks to complete. In addition, Reflections Holiday Park Trust received a grant which will be used to reinstate the Lido walkway components to their former glory.  Council has been lobbying the State Government for many years to get this great community asset reinstated and spent the initial $30,000 of Council funds on a feasibility study to ensure it became a reality.

It is hoped that work will start later this week and there will be no public access to the worksite for the duration of the project.

URUNGA ACCESS PATHWAY COMPLETED
Urunga residents and visitors will be very pleased that works have been completed on the Urunga to Hungry Head Beach Shared Path. The project provides a dedicated accessible pedestrian / cycleway facility for a distance of approximately 3km. Council has received very positive feedback on this project and I am happy to report it is proving to be a very popular recreational facility.

The path winds its way from the Urunga Sea Lido at Reflections Caravan Park traversing two new bridges and continuing to the Hungry Head Beach Intersection.

There are plans in the Council’s Pedestrian and Access Mobility Plan and Bike Plan to further extend this route from Hungry Head back to the old Pacific Highway (Giiinagy Way). The total project cost to date is over $1 Million with the final stage costing approximately $350,000. 

URUNGA LIBRARY UPGRADE FUNDING
As previously reported Council was successful in its application to the NSW State Government for a Public Library Infrastructure Grant of $153,250 to upgrade Urunga Library. Plans are currently being prepared as part of the DA approval process.

The project aims to refurbish the library, relocate and reduce the size of the existing service desk and enable better access for wheelchair users, redesign the toilet into a fully accessible toilet and install new carpet, signage, shelving and furniture. The project will see key actions identified in the Disability Access and Inclusion Plan implemented.

Cr Dominic King
22 June 2018