Town hub

Wick­ham ex­cited to see progress

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Ali­cia Per­era

The Wick­ham Com­mu­nity Hub ref­er­ence group say it is pleased to see “un­am­bigu­ously” pos­i­tive progress be­ing made on the lon­gawaited town project, with guar­an­tees for all funding now se­cured and con­struc­tion due to start by the end of the year. Con­trary to a re­port in The Pil­bara News two weeks ago, while the City of Kar­ratha is still wait­ing on the out­come of a $4.5 mil­lion funding ap­pli­ca­tion to the Com­mon­wealth Build­ing Bet­ter Re­gions Fund, at a meet­ing on May 29 it voted in favour of the City cov­er­ing the short­fall should the money not come through.

Wick­ham Com­mu­nity Hub ref­er­ence group head Richard Goscombe said he was heart­ened to see coun­cil­lors unan­i­mously vote to fill the funding gap if needed, mean­ing con­struc­tion of the hub was now on the hori­zon af­ter years of de­lays.

“We’ve reached a re­ally sig­nif­i­cant point where even though there is a short­fall that funding ap­pli­ca­tions to State and Fed­eral gov­ern­ment have not yet filled, the coun­cil has made a com­mit­ment to fund the short­fall to the tune of $4.61 mil­lion, which in the mid­dle of the cur­rent down­turn is a re­ally en­cour­ag­ing de­ci­sion by the coun­cil for the town of Wick­ham,” he said.

“It pro­vides an un­am­bigu­ous state­ment to the town coun­cil’s com­mit­ment to this com­mu­nity, and it is fi­nally go­ing to se­cure this es­sen­tial fa­cil­ity.”

Ref­er­ence group mem­ber Kelly Nunn said it was ex­cit­ing to see plans mov­ing for­ward for the hub, which would help re­tain res­i­dents in Wick­ham by pro­vid­ing a mod­ern and pur­pose-built space for com­mu­nity groups.

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said they had de­cided to fill the po­ten­tially more than $4 mil­lion funding gap if nec­es­sary, as well as se­lect builders for the main hub and wa­ter play area.

“The City is still await­ing funding de­ci­sions on Roy­al­ties for Re­gions and the Com­mon­wealth Build­ing Bet­ter Re­gions Fund, how­ever coun­cil is com­mit­ted to pro­gress­ing the hub project al­though it may be nec­es­sary to ad­just the scope if there is a funding short­fall,” he said.

Cr Long said the City was in a “strong fi­nan­cial po­si­tion” from which it could draw the $4.11 mil­lion with­out cost­ing ratepayers more. Con­struc­tion of the wa­ter play area is due to be­gin in the com­ing months.

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Per­era

Wick­ham Com­mu­nity Hub ref­er­ence group mem­bers Court­ney But­ler, Richard Goscombe, Michelle Cross and Kelly Nunn look over plans for the hub at their meet­ing last week.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.