Coun­cil to re­al­lo­cate air­port cash

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - NEWS -

Ed­ward River Coun­cil will soon start the process to re­al­lo­cate $750,000 in Mur­ray Dar­ling Basin Re­gional Eco­nomic Diver­si­fi­ca­tion Pro­gramme fund­ing.

The al­lo­ca­tion granted to En­nor Engi­neer­ing for a new and ex­panded fa­cil­ity at De­niliquin Air­port has been re­lin­quished by the com­pany.

It has also prompted coun­cil to aban­don a pro­posal for land sub-di­vi­sion at the air­port to ac­com­mo­date the project.

En­nor Engi­neer­ing owner and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Craig En­nor has de­clined to make any com­ment re­gard­ing the de­ci­sion to put the ex­pan­sion on hold.

As re­ported in Au­gust this year, the busi­ness had planned to build a new fac­tory to re­place its Barham Rd fa­cil­ity which Mr En­nor pre­vi­ously in­di­cated they had out­grown a num­ber of years ago.

The project had the ca­pac­ity to cre­ate at least nine new full-time jobs.

Ed­ward River Coun­cil Mayor Norm Bren­nan said as the diver­si­fi­ca­tion pro­gramme fund­ing was ini­tially al­lo­cated to Ed­ward River Coun­cil, the money for the project de­faults back to the coun­cil to re­dis­tribute.

‘‘We will go through the process of re­al­lo­cat­ing the funds,’’ Cr Bren­nan said.

‘‘The Depart­ment of Premier and Cabi­net is com­fort­able with what we are do­ing so far.

‘‘We in­tend to re­view the un­suc­cess­ful ap­pli­ca­tions pre­vi­ously sup­plied to coun­cil, but we also know there are a num­ber of new ini­tia­tives which could ben­e­fit from this fund­ing.’’

Coun­cil was awarded $3 mil­lion un­der the Mur­ray Dar­ling Basin Re­gional Eco­nomic Diver­si­fi­ca­tion Pro­gramme in June 2016. In Au­gust this year, it an­nounced five re­cip­i­ents.

In ad­di­tion to En­nor Engi­neer­ing, fund­ing was al­lo­cated to the es­tab­lish­ment of a trans­port her­itage mu­seum by Pur­tills, the Na­vo­rina Nurs­ing Home and the De­niliquin Chil­dren’s Cen­tre ex­pan­sion projects and the de­vel­op­ment of a De­niliquin se­nior hous­ing fa­cil­ity be­ing pur­sued by Ed­ward River Coun­cil.

With the En­nor Engi­neer­ing project now shelved, coun­cil has also de­cided to re­dis­tribute $400,000 set aside in its bud­get for a sub-di­vi­sion at the air­port to ac­com­mo­date the project.

Cr Bren­nan said it was likely to fund pri­or­ity projects in coun­cil’s Roads to Re­cov­ery Pro­gram.

‘‘Coun­cil has worked co­op­er­a­tively with the pro­po­nent through­out this process to as­sist in fa­cil­i­tat­ing the ex­pan­sion of the lo­cal busi­ness, how­ever with the project now on hold, we have de­cided not to pur­sue this agree­ment fur­ther at this stage,’’ Cr Bren­nan said.

‘‘Coun­cil is re­spon­si­ble for main­tain­ing the ur­ban and ru­ral road net­work, and by not pro­ceed­ing with the De­niliquin Air­port sub-di­vi­sion at this stage, we will be able to in­stead fo­cus on de­liv­er­ing ad­di­tional road in­fra­struc­ture projects.

‘‘Coun­cil re­cently en­gaged lead­ing pro­fes­sional ser­vices firm KPMG to pre­pare a busi­ness case to as­sist us in de­ter­min­ing the fea­si­bil­ity of ex­tend­ing the air­port run­way, and given the de­fer­ral of the sub-di­vi­sion, it is ap­pro­pri­ate that we wait for the com­ple­tion of this busi­ness case be­fore pur­su­ing any fur­ther de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties at the site.’’

KPMG is ex­pected to com­plete the De­niliquin Air­port run­way ex­ten­sion busi­ness case by March.

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