Geoff Helisma | Clarence Valley Council (CVC) is aiming to gain NSW Government assistance for two major projects: ‘Improving Access to Yamba NSW’ (intersection works totalling $7.1 million) and ‘Connecting the Harwood Marine Precinct’ (road construction totalling $4.18 million). At yesterday’s council meeting (after the paper went to press), councillors considered contributing a further $20,000 towards preparing a business case to apply to the NSW Government’s Growing Local Economies Fund. The government approved CVC’s expression of interest, allocating $20,000 towards preparing the business case, for which staff have obtained quotes that “indicate up to $40,000 will be needed (including cost benefit analysis)”, the report to council states. “The Improving Access to Yamba NSW expression aims to improve traffic flows and ease traffic congestion during peak tourism periods. “Improving access to Yamba will enable growth in the visitor/tourism economy. “Modelling indicates that by 2038 the traffic volumes on Yamba Road will have doubled at present growth and already some intersections are failing at peak tourism seasons.” Whatever councillors decide about the Treelands Drive Yamba Road intersection – traffic lights or a roundabout – will have to be factored into the application. “Connecting the Harwood Marine Precinct involves constructing an upgraded sealed road into the Harwood Marine Precinct and potentially some strategic maintenance dredging at the transition in the Clarence River,” the report to council states. Success in the application process will largely be dependent on “demonstrating job growth”, in regard to the Harwood Marine Precinct, and tourism growth (domestic and international) and job growth in the case of Yamba. The highway upgrade is cited as a relevant factor that will contribute towards tourism growth, particularly from south east Queensland. “Byron Bay Council has figures which demonstrate the impact of the highway upgrade on them which was dramatic and these will be used in the application,” the report to council states.