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McLachlan Park funding allocated

Clarence Valley’s councillors last week unanimously approved Clarence Coast Reserve Trust’s implementation of S1.8million of federal funding to complete ‘Area 2’ of McLachlan Park, Maclean.
Page MP Kevin Hogan and Minister for Regional Development Senator Fiona Nash – who approved the grant application – offered the grant to Clarence Valley Council (CVC) during the 2016 federal election.
The grant was originally offered to construct a boardwalk; however, CVC instead resolved to complete Area 2 and commence other works that are a part of the Maclean Riverside Precinct Project.
The work in Area 2 includes: the construction of: a concrete riverside walk, a levee wall (including steps, seating terraces and ramp); a picnic shelter and picnic facilities; seating walls, steps and walkway; and, water and electrical services.
The two remaining camphor laurel trees will be replaced with three Australian red cedars.
At the June 27 council meeting, Cr Greg Clancy attempted to have the “proposed viewing platform” redesigned “to protect the stand of endangered ecological community swamp oak”.
However, Cr Andrew Baker called a point of order on the proposed motion amendment, as it sought to change an approved development application (DA).
Acting general manager Ashley Lindsay advised councillors that activity at the site had already commenced; subsequently, the mayor ruled the proposed amendment out of order.
Councillor Debrah Novak was friendless when she moved an amendment to the tabled motion, to “return the 2 camphor laurel trees, tagged for removal, as timber sculptures when the McLachlan Park redevelopment is completed, along with a story about the trees and the pioneer who planted them”.
Works and Civil director Troy Anderson advised councillors that camphor laurel timber was not appropriate for an outdoor sculpture because it was “softwood”.
Mayor Jim Simmons suggested that the timber could be donated to Grafton’s men’s shed.
Mr Anderson said that the council still had some of the timber from the two camphor laurel trees previously removed.
“People have not come forward,” to use the timber and, he said, “we’ll be keeping the useable sections” of the soon to be removed trees.
The report to council stated that Area 2 works are estimated to cost $491,337.
While councillors have approved the completion of McLachlan Park, the Minister also approved grant funding “to deliver additional elements of the plan between McNaughton Place and Munro Lane”, the report to council stated.
Other work on the drawing board includes improvements to the riverfront at the court house, a concrete foreshore promenade, a riverside square (behind the Maclean Hotel) and improvements to Munro Lane.
The grant’s conditions require completion of the works by July 31, 2018.
The council will now engage a “consultant team” to commence design work for the additional elements of the project.