Events Park D-day
But skating rink chews into $1.82 million Dinner Plain budget
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.