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Money for sport, play and lifestyle infrastructure

Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis (left) and the valley’s mayor, Jim Simmons, at Jacaranda Park, Grafton; where Mr Gulaptis announced that four of Clarence Valley Council’s infrastructure projects have won $1.33million in funding through the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities program. Image Contributed
Geoff Helisma Four of Clarence Valley Council’s infrastructure projects have won funding through the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities program. Clarence MP Chris Gulpatis made the announcement last Thursday at Jacaranda Park, Grafton, where $500,000 has been granted to assist with the park’s staged redevelopment of an “inclusive playground and supporting park infrastructure themed on the Clarence Valley, turning it into an iconic regional facility”. “I encouraged Clarence Valley Council to apply back in July,” Mr Gulaptis said in a media release. “This million dollar investment in Clarence infrastructure delivers social benefits as well as a boost to local jobs and small businesses.” The $1.33million will also fund a new clubhouse facility at Ngayundi Yamba Sports Complex ($355,000), a lighting upgrade at Rushforth Park, South Grafton ($301,075) and construction of ‘Section 3’ of the Iluka walking and bike track, “connecting the township to the break all and ocean beach”. Scope of the proposed work at the Lower Clarence Magpies Rugby League Club’s home ground at Yamba includes “change rooms, accessible public toilets, referee and first aid room, as well as a new canteen, storage space and spectator seating”. Lighting will be installed at Rushforth Park’s number 2 field and field 1’s lighting will be upgraded with the “installation of new transformer for adequate power supply”. Clarence Valley Council will match funding for the proposed works at Yamba, Jacaranda Park and Rushforth Park. Meanwhile, at the November 21 council meeting, councillors prioritised a list of 10 community sporting projects from CVC’s operational plan, following a request from Mr Gulaptis. The identified projects are located at: High priority: Ngayundi Yamba Sports Complex, Rushforth Park, Ellem Oval (Upper Fisher Park) and Lower Fisher Park Tennis Centre, and Ken Leeson Oval (Iluka); Medium priority: Hawthorne Park, Maclean Pool and Grafton Aquatic Centre; and, Low priority: Maclean Showground, Yamba Oval and Skate Park and North Park. The valley’s mayor, Jim Simmons said the council’s matching contribution to the funded projects would be a mixture of “cash and work” – assuming CVC employees complete some of the proposed projects. He said that at the time of compiling the priority sports infrastructure list, councillors were not aware if two items – Ngayundi Yamba Sports Complex and Rushforth Park – had been successful in attracting state government funding. Mayor Simmons welcomed Mr Gulaptis’s announcement. “It is tremendous that the Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis has been able to achieve those grants,” he said. “They are projects that the communities in those areas have wanted for a good period of time now –at Jacaranda Park we will provide playground equipment; it will be a park for all abilities.” Mr Gulaptis said he had encouraged the mayor and “his team to apply for further grants when the [Stronger Country Communities] program re-opens for applications in March 2018”. The $200million Stronger Country Communities fund is part of a new $1.3 billion Regional Growth Fund, Mr Gulaptis said.