From the Newsroom

Artist’s impression of part of the proposed Maclean Community Precinct. Image: Contributed

Grant funds Maclean precinct proposal

Mayor to ‘push hard’ for more roads maintenance money

Geoff Helisma

Clarence Valley Council (CVC) will use $3 million of its $4,102,732 Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program (LRCIP) grant to fund the Clarence Valley Culture and Community Precinct (Maclean).

The February 22 CVC meeting business paper stated, “This report presents council’s significant projects requiring state and federal funding and requires consideration of priority.

“The report also includes recommendations about the proposed expenditure of the LRCIP.”

The Maclean precinct proposal is CVC’s top priority project in its Significant Projects, 2022 – 2023 book.

To date, stage 1 is funded by a $4.997 million Bushfire Local Economic Recovery grant; CVC has proposed to contribute $2.6 million from its reserves, and councillors have allocated $3 million from the LRCIP grant, which leaves a $5 million shortfall to complete the current $15.6 million estimate to complete the project.

Councillors allocated $500,000 towards pedestrian access and mobility plan outcomes and $602,732 for road renewal.

When asked why only $602,732 of $4,102,732 was allocated to road renewal, given the deterioration of many Clarence Valley Roads, mayor Ian Tiley said, “That’s an excellent question, to which I don’t have the answer.

“That decision [regarding priorities] was taken before this council.

“That’s not a cop-out, but I’m really fearful that when the water subsides, we’ll have many, many more potholes than we had before the floods.

“What are we going do about it?

“We obviously need strong financial support from the other tiers of government.

“My personal view is that, yes, more money should have been applied to roads.

“We’ve got two and a half thousand kilometres of roads that we [CVC] maintain.

“They’re vital for people to get access to food, health, etcetera.

“So, in the upcoming budget process I’m going to push hard to get more money into roads maintenance.”

Councillors adopted the following priority list for projects in the Clarence Valley:

  • Clarence Valley Culture and Community Precinct Maclean – Phase 1: $15.6m (TBC)
  • Rediscover Grafton – CBD upgrade: $20-25m
  • Maclean Flood Levee renewal: $6m
  • Grafton Regional Saleyard roof: $6.4m
  • Regional Swim and Recreation Centre: total project cost: $21m, stage one: $14m, stage two: $7m
  • See Park Masterplan and upgrade: $2m
  • Grafton Regional Airport runway upgrade: $20m
  • Riverbank restoration – Maclean to Farlows Lane: $15m
  • Nymboida fishway – saving our species: $6m
  • Nymboida Water Supply Tunnel renewal: $5m
  • Water pipeline from Grafton to Minnie waters & Wooli: $22m
  • Brooms Head revetment wall extension: $4m
  • Clarence River water main crossings: Harwood $10m; Grafton $6m.

Councillors unanimously adopted the priority order without debate and decided to, “Refer the significant projects book to the local state member for Clarence and the federal member for Page; conduct annual reviews of the significant projects book as projects are funded and new ones are designed; make application for the allocation of LRCIP funds, totalling $4,102,732, as follows: Clarence Valley Culture and Community Precinct (Maclean) $3million; Pedestrian Access and Mobility Plan outcomes $500,000; and road renewal $602,732.”