Events Park D-day

But skat­ing rink chews into $1.82 mil­lion Din­ner Plain bud­get

Alpine Observer - - Front Page - By JAMIE KRONBORG & VANESSA BURGESS

ALPINE Shire Coun­cil was last night to con­sider ap­proval of a $1.82 mil­lion con­tract to en­able the con­struc­tion of Alpine Events Park’s key project to pro­ceed.

The ex­pected go-ahead for Mounty Beauty builder Bar­ton St Devel­op­ments to turn the sod on works for a multi-pur­pose fa­cil­ity in Bright’s Pioneer Park marks the next step in its re­de­vel­op­ment as a “scal­able out­door precinct” with a ca­pac­ity to host ma­jor and small events.

The multi-pur­pose fa­cil­ity build – which in­cludes de­mo­li­tion of the park’s ex­ist­ing pavil­ion, par­tial de­mo­li­tion of the lower change room and its re­fur­bish­ment and ex­pan­sion, con­struc­tion of a new up­per level fa­cil­ity and restora­tion of the park’s his­toric grand­stand – is the largest com­po­nent of the wider events park project.

Pre­lim­i­nary works – which be­gan in March – have in­cluded trench­ing and in­stal­la­tion of util­ity ser­vices, drainage, con- struc­tion of a sealed carpark, sealed bike- path and hard­stands for events, a 350-ve­hi­cle ca­pac­ity grass carpark and a new sealed road.

On com­ple­tion in June 2019, it is en­vis­aged that re­sult­ing de­mand for the park’s fa­cil­i­ties from event man­agers will add markedly to the re­gion’s eco­nomic prospects – cre­at­ing 70 new jobs and gen­er­at­ing direct spend­ing of $16.5m per year in the shire.

The project in May last year won the support of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment the project with a $1.87m grant from its ‘Na­tional Stronger Re­gions Fund’, which has been re-badged since last year’s elec­tion as the ‘Build­ing Bet­ter Re­gions Fund’.

The coun­cil also part­nered with tim­ber plan­ta­tion com­pany HVP, Alpine Com­mu­nity Plan­ta­tions and Bright United Foot­ball and Net­ball Club to match the Com­mon­wealth’s com­mit­ment, cre­at­ing a project fund­ing pool of $3.74m to be spent across four years.

Bar­ton St Devel­op­ments ten­dered to take up the multi-pur­pose fa­cil­ity con­struc­tion job for a lump sum price of $1,819,787, plus GST.

The builder’s ten­der was one of five con­sid­ered by the coun­cil be­fore the rec­om­men­da­tion was put to this month’s meet­ing.

Coun­cil­lors last night were also to con­sider a pack­age of events fund­ing for the Din­ner Plain com­mu­nity.

The coun­cil bud­geted $80,000 for spon­sor­ship of a mix of events across the year.

These range from es­tab­lished to emerg­ing events, all of which are de­signed to at­tract more vis­i­tors to Din­ner Plain, particularly dur­ing school hol­i­days and long week­ends.

Fo­cal Pro­mo­tions, which is con­tracted to de­liver Gee­bung Polo across four years, will re­ceive $15,000 for the Easter polo match at Cobun­gra Sta­tion and re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties.

But an at­tempt to bring pop-up ice-skat­ing to the small com­mu­nity is to take the lion’s share of the spon­sor­ship bud­get although the event will not pro­ceed for a sec­ond sea­son.

The coun­cil last year con­trib­uted $20,000 to­wards the pop-up rink to run in the July 2017 school hol­i­day pe­riod but will have to use the cur­rent financial year’s bud­get to meet car­ry­over costs of $27,465.

Alpine Shire act­ing as­sets direc­tor Wil­liam Jeremy said the skat­ing at­trac­tion had been popular but did not prove vi­able.

“It’s a real shame that we sim­ply didn’t have the num­bers to make the pop-up ice skat­ing rink a suc­cess,” he said.

“It was well re­ceived and was run­ning dur­ing one of the busiest times at Din­ner Plain, so de­spite giv­ing it our best shot we couldn’t make it vi­able.”

But it would prob­a­bly have worked in a big­ger mar­ket such as Bright, Mr Jeremy said.

The other events for which fund­ing has been rec­om­mended in­clude Mile High Trail Run $ 1000, Bright Moun­tain Film Tour $ 1200, Moun­tain Bike En­duro and Fun­duro $4000, Sled Dog Chal­lenge $6000, Easter Fes­ti­val $5500, Flick­er­fest Aus­tralia Day $5000, New Year’s Eve fire­works and en­ter­tain­ment $5000, and snow sea­son open­ing week­end $4000.

A panel of Din­ner Plain res­i­dents and busi­ness own­ers en­dorsed the rec­om­men­da­tions be­fore they were pre­sented to coun­cil­lors.

Alpine chief ex­ec­u­tive Char­lie Bird is to al­lo­cate resid­ual funds of $5835 from the bud­get at his dis­cre­tion.

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