Statement from Upper Lachlan Shire Council Mayor Brian McCormack: Community and Civic Centre Proposal

Upper Lachlan Shire Council’s application for funding under the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) for a Community and Civic Centre has sparked much community comment after a motion at Thursday’s Council Meeting by Councillors Ron Cummins and Richard Opie to not lodge a funding application was lost 5 votes to 4.
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The Building Better Regions Fund supports the Australian Government’s commitment to create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities into the future. A new Community and Civic Centre built in Crookwell seeks to achieve those outcomes.

In 2004 when the Upper Lachlan Shire Council was created from Crookwell and parts of the Mulwaree and Gunning Shires, no money was made available to upgrade the current administration building or to create a new building that would meet WH&S standards for staff.

Besides the obvious problems with Council’s current administration buildings in Crookwell, including the lack of gallery space for Council Meetings, undersized, ad-hoc and disjointed offices, increased maintenance costs due to the architecture and age of the buildings and a reception that does not meet the requirements of Roads and Maritime Services – Service NSW testing to name a few, Council sees this project as a significant step towards meeting the modern needs of our ever evolving community.

The Community and Civic Centre would house ‘smart-work’ meeting rooms which would give individuals, community groups and organisations access to high speed internet and business services – a facility that does not currently exist anywhere in the Shire.

Initial costing for the Centre is $10,252,451.Council is seeking exceptional circumstances co-funding exemption in this application to BBRF which means that we are asking for full funding for the project, not the 50% we would usually need to find to be eligible to apply.

The Council Chambers would include breakout meeting rooms and a kitchenette. It would also double as a conference centre that would bring regional conferences and meetings to the Shire, benefitting local businesses, community and organisational groups alike and be a boost to local tourism.

Also proposed in the draft plans are some large community spaces which have possible exciting uses such as art/sculpture galleries, a historical museum, tourist spaces or conference areas. Use of these areas will be discussed and determined with the community at future consultation meetings.

Initial costing for the Centre is $10,252,451.Council is seeking exceptional circumstances co- funding exemption in this application to BBRF which means that we are asking for full funding for the project, not the 50% we would usually need to find to be eligible to apply.

Although we were seen as Fit for the Future under the recent IPART determination, Council struggles to maintain services like Service NSW due to its current, substandard facilities. I am sure no one in our community would like to see our current services be decentralised to adjoining Shires.

Applying for the BBRF is the first part of a concerted effort to keep important services and have a positive economic effect in the Shire.

The draft plans for the proposed Community and Civic Centre are available on Council’s website: 梧桐夜网upperlachlan.nsw.gov419论坛/council/other-public-documents.

Anyone who wishes to provide comment on the plans is asked to do so by Friday, 31 March 2017 via post to JK Bell, General Manager, PO Box 42, Gunning NSW 2581 or email [email protected]论坛. The Community and Civic Centre would house ‘smart-work’ meeting rooms which would give individuals, community groups and organisations access to high speed internet and business services – a facility that does not currently exist anywhere in the Shire.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.