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Iluka gets its oval fix

Geoff Helisma

The Australian Government has made good on a Community Development Program grant to redevelop Ken Leeson Oval at Iluka.

Page MP Kevin Hogan announced the grant in March this year, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack wrote to Clarence Valley Council (CVC) in November to formally approve the grant.

The $500,000 grant will fund the entire scope of works, which includes improving “the amenity and canteen facilities” and “all planning and project management” costs, the report to yesterday’s CVC meeting stated.

It will “enable the community to increase their use of the playing fields through hosting carnivals, events [and] training programs, as well as presentation and gala days and passive recreational activities”.

“The upgrade will also improve facilities that can be used for school sport programs, the local markets, events and cultural celebrations,” the report stated.

The council’s general manager, Ashley Lindsay, said that he “sees no problem” regarding Mr McCormack writing in his letter (dated November 4 and received by CVC on November 21) that it should be kept “confidential until a funding agreement is signed”.

Mr Lindsay said it was a “standard letter”.

Councillors most likely voted to accept the funding, as recommended by staff, at yesterday’s CVC meeting (after the newspaper went to press).

Staff wrote in the report: “The scope and location of upgraded amenities is yet to be finalised and will follow consultation with user groups.

“The current facility and toilet block are non-compliant with the access requirements.”

“The funding was announced”, the report to council stated, “by the Federal Government in response to representations made by the local community.”

Mr Lindsay said consultation with the community had been ongoing.

In the ‘Key Issues’ section of the report to council, staff wrote: “There is some risk that the user groups may not all agree on the scope of the works or that the budget may be insufficient to meet community expectations.

“Consultation with community groups is yet to be finalised while a bill of quantities to confirm budget will be undertaken as part of planning and design.”