Work will soon begin on six community projects in the Balonne Shire – including a Skatepark at Bollon requested by local schoolchildren, an upgrade to the Thallon basketball courts and the installation of a barbecue with sheltered table and chairs at the Dirranbandi Civic Centre Park – which have been formally approved for funding under the Federal Government’s Local Roads Community Infrastructure Program.
The objective of the LRCIP is to stimulate additional infrastructure construction activity in local communities across Australia and to assist communities in managing the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Mayor Samantha O’Toole said Council was informed last week that more than $1 million had been approved for the following projects:
• Thallon Basketball Courts: Two basketball hoops with partnering swivelling netball hoops will be installed along with safety pole padding, line marking of the tennis courts/basketball courts and access gate widening of the fences.
• Balonne Showground upgrades at Bollon and Thallon: Arena levelling and water connection work will be undertaken at the Bollon Showground with similar work on the Thallon sports arena/oval.
Bollon Skatepark: Construction of a Skatepark in Bollon suitable for skateboards, scooters and bikes is currently in a community consultation phase for design and construction.
• Dirranbandi Civic Centre Barbecue and Sports Complex Sealing: The barbecue and sheltered table and chairs will be constructed at the Dirranbandi Civic Centre Park and the car park at the sports complex will be sealed.
• St George CCTV and Disaster Management Building upgrade: An upgrade to community CCTV infrastructure will include new core and video storage, wireless networks, camera and analytics to protect the community from vandalism and assist in the detection of crime. Building upgrades will improve the safety, serviceability and accessibility of the current building including vital roof repairs and painting.
• St George Swimming Pool Splash Park: Funding will cover Stage 1 of a 2-stage Splash Park at the pool to provide a safe water play area for children and families. Concept designs have been prepared for the current community consultation component and the preferred tender has been chosen. This $1.1 million project is also being supported with Works for Queensland funding
Discussing the new Skatepark with Mayor Samantha O’Toole are Bollon State School students (from left): Neville Bottrell, Akayla West, Patrick Wilkinson, Liam Balam and Byron Oliver.
“Council is delighted that the Federal Government has seen fit to support these very worthwhile local initiatives,” Cr O’Toole said.
“With money expected to begin flowing in the next month we will be wasting no time in ramping up work on all the projects.
“Obviously in the case of some there is more community engagement to be undertaken but that is already underway.”
Cr O’Toole said the value of the funding extended beyond just providing important community infrastructure and would also support a range of local businesses.
“This funding will see an increase in support for local businesses during the continuing harsh times caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.”
“It enables Council to aid a community-led financial recovery by supporting local jobs and procurement, ensuring stimulus flows into our local communities throughout the Balonne Shire.”
Cr O’Toole said all projects would be completed by the end of this financial year.
She also thanked the Federal Member for Maranoa, The Hon. David Littleproud, for his support for the projects.
“I know that David certainly went into bat for these in Canberra and we are grateful for that support,” she said.
Maranoa MP David Littleproud said he was pleased to see the Balonne Shire Council utilising the $1.1 million LRCIP funding on projects that will strengthen communities and boost tourism in the region.
“This funding will support local jobs and businesses in the Balonne region and boost local economies struggling under the effects of COVID-19,” Mr Littleproud said.
“One of my top goals as the Member for Maranoa is to keep improving our public infrastructure, highways and roads for safety, more efficient movement of goods, so that we are better connected with our community and to boost tourism.
“The LRCI Program is part of the Federal Government’s $1.8 billion boost for road and community projects through local governments across Australia, including the bringing forward of $1.3 billion of the 2020-21 Financial Assistance Grant payments.”
For more information:
Nigel Tapp, Corporate Communications Co-ordinator-Balonne Shire Council
T: 07 4620 8804
M: 0476 660 047