$5m to spend
Preschool, pool funded
The last step in the development of a new preschool and long day care centre has been achieved, with almost $1 million allocated last week to improve early childhood education opportunities in Jerilderie.
Jerilderie Preschool and Murrumbidgee Council’s application for $994,000 to build the new facility was awarded on Friday.
It is part of a massive $3.8 million in Stronger Country Communities funding allocation to Murrumbidgee Council projects in round two.
A large portion of the allocation, $2.2 million, will specifically be spent on sporting infrastructure.
Another $1.36 million in SCC funding will be spent in the neighboring Berrigan Shire Council area, meaning more than $5 million in vital infrastructure improvements will be delivered in the Southern Riverina over coming months.
The allocation for Jerilderie Preschool is the culmination of two years of hard work, preschool director Rebekah Salter said.
She said the flow-on effect to the community through jobs creation and economic growth will be enormous.
A location for the development was confirmed in July this year, with council allocating land on the corner of Mahonga and Kennedy Sts.
‘‘This will become a major drawcard to Jerilderie for young families, and is the centre of our future development,’’ Miss Salter said.
‘‘We’re hopeful it can open up 10 jobs, which would be fantastic for the town.
‘‘It will also allow families to get back to work quicker, knowing that care is available for children under three years-old.
‘‘This was the first year we opened the centre for five days per week and it’s worked really well so we’re happy we can provide this into the future with longer hours.
‘‘We’ve had wonderful support from the community and the council to have long day care in Jerilderie.
‘‘Leading the push for long day care has been Carina Rorato. She’s been a fantastic advocate and it really wouldn’t have happened without her, as she’s led the steering committee with great charge.’’
Murrumbidgee Mayor Ruth McRae said Jerilderie’s other dedicated funding through SCC is a $1.3 million allocation to build a new Jerilderie pool.
‘‘Regarding the swimming pool, we’ve been actively seeking assistance to rebuild that for a number of years,’’ Cr McRae said.
‘‘Building pools is costly but in this day and age, small towns must have a local pool because every child should learn how to swim.
‘‘Hopefully, the rebuild will happen after the swim season and we can engage with the community moving forward.’’
A timeline of works is yet to be decided for each of the Jerilderie projects, but Cr McRae said ‘‘the intention is to have both built soon’’.
SCC funding was also allocated for upgrades to the Coleambally Sporting Precinct ($705,000), Coleambally Stadium ($320,000) and Darlington Point Sports Ground ($320,000), and for the installation of an irrigation system at the Darling Point golf course ($190,000).
Three of Berrigan Shire Council’s townships will receive a share of funding from the Stronger Country Communities round two funding stream.
The sole Finley-based project submitted for a share of the council’s funding allocation was not supported by the NSW Government when $1.36 million in projects was announced on Friday.
Berrigan Shire Mayor Matt Hannan said while the supported projects in Tocumwal, Barooga and Berrigan will be great additions for the shire, the Finley snub was a bit of a surprise.
He said even in round one, which gave council $2.2 million to spend on local infrastructure, Finley was only awarded $160,000 (for the Finley skate park).
‘‘It’s always great to receive outside funding to go towards our projects but we need to find out why Finley didn’t receive funding. I have already spoken with (Member for Murray) Austin Evans.
‘‘In the first round they polled the community to work out where the money should be distributed, and I believe that may have been the case again. But I have not come across anyone in the shire who was polled by the state government.
‘‘In round one we submitted funding for the Finley Showgrounds but that was knocked back.
‘‘Because it was knocked back we elected not to submit it again for round two, however there is a grant pending through another program for us to get funding at the showgrounds.’’
In round two council had applied for $400,000 to install an automated sprinkler system at Finley Golf Club to water all 18 holes.
‘‘Obviously we felt the golf course would have been a good community based project to assist the golf club in the future,’’ Cr Hannan said.
Projects which have received funding include $489,000 for the development and expansion of the Barooga Adventure Park and $395,000 for Berrigan War Memorial Pool upgrades.
Another $497,000 has been allocated to the redevelopment of the Tocumwal Recreation Reserve netball and cricket facilities and $59,000 to new lighting and scoreboard at Berrigan Sportsground.
Berrigan Shire director of corporate services Matt Hansen said the allocation for the Berrigan Sportsground is only a portion of the amount needed for the project.
‘‘We requested $107,000 in our application,’’ he said.
‘‘Council will discuss with the sportsground management committee about what it wants to do moving forward.
‘‘One option can be doing part of the work.
‘‘We will also be speaking with the funding body if we can do portion of the project or do all of it and fund the rest.
‘‘It’ll be a decision for the management committee to decide if it’s willing to pay the remaining money or alternatively council can chip in some of the remaining cost.’’