In­fras­tuc­ture mo­men­tum must con­tinue in our town

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - NEWS -

The ex­ten­sive pro­gram of ma­jor projects in com­ing years will pro­vide our re­gion with a sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic boost.

While gov­ern­ments strug­gle to re­solve press­ing key is­sues which un­der­pin the re­gional econ­omy, they at least have en­sured a steady flow of in­fra­struc­ture fund­ing con­tin­ues to flow.

A re­cent Ed­ward River Coun­cil work­shop high­lighted the large amount of money to be spent in the re­gion.

Some of this is for projects that have been de­vel­oped from the lo­cal gov­ern­ment merger money and oth­ers through the NSW Gov­ern­ment Stronger Com- mu­ni­ties pro­gram, from which we con­tinue to see ben­e­fit.

We have also seen ad­di­tional large-scale projects such as the TAFE up­grade and new po­lice sta­tion. An im­por­tant as­pect which these have de­liv­ered is an in­jec­tion of con­fi­dence in the knowl­edge these ser­vices are likely to play an im­por­tant long-term role in our com­mu­nity.

We have seen re­duc­tions in gov­ern­ment ser­vices too of­ten; it is vi­tal for re­gional economies that we see gov­ern­ments ex­pand­ing their pres­ence, rather than the eco­nomic ra­tio­nal­ism ap­proach which of­ten sees ser­vices and per­son­nel moved to larger cen­tres.

It is im­por­tant we main­tain the mo­men­tum gained from the work which has been un­der­taken in our dis­trict, as well as what is pro­posed.

From Ed­ward River Coun­cil’s per­spec­tive there is $27 mil­lion in works to be sent out for ten­der. This in­cludes road re­me­di­a­tion, sewer works, wa­ter and drainage, com­mu­nity build­ing and fa­cil­ity up­grades, CBD and river­front re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion works and ru­ral vil­lage projects.

Coun­cil will be hop­ing these are com­ple­mented by the De­niliquin Air­port ex­pan­sion, for which it is seek­ing $20 mil­lion in gov­ern­ment sup­port.

Re­gional in­fra­struc­ture work will also con­tinue through Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion Ltd, with an­other $40 mil­lion ear­marked for canal up­grades and re­me­di­a­tion.

Then we have projects such as the so­lar farms which will in­ject a mas­sive $350 mil­lion into the re­gional econ­omy, and per­haps even the long awaited ethanol plant.

Each of these will have a pos­i­tive im­pact, cre­at­ing jobs and gen­er­at­ing eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity.

In com­bi­na­tion they have the po­ten­tial to set strong foun­da­tions for our econ­omy and, as a con­se­quence, the re­gional com­mu­nity, for many years to come.

As gov­ern­ments re­alise the need to over­come ur­ban­i­sa­tion and en­cour­age re­lo­ca­tion to re­gional cen­tres, hope­fully their in­jec­tion of in­fra­struc­ture fund­ing will con­tinue.

It has the po­ten­tial to present op­por­tu­ni­ties that we have not seen for many years.

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