Loan se­cures the fu­ture of cot­tages

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - Sam Gibbs

Brunswick River Cot­tages will be on solid foun­da­tions thanks to a $750,000 loan from Har­vey Shire Coun­cil af­ter fund­ing was with­drawn from the busi­ness last year.

Cot­tages com­mit­tee chair­man Ken Hart said the loan would need to be paid off within 20 years but he hoped to have it sorted sooner.

“I’d imag­ine we’d have it paid off in 10 years, we’re quite con­fi­dent we can sat­isfy ev­ery­thing and still build some more rental units,” Mr Hart said.

“It’s not ideal that we’ve had to take out a loan but we’ll con­tinue to seek fur­ther fund­ing.

“The idea is to be­come self fund­ing, it’s just about get­ting over that fi­nan­cial hump.”

Mr Hart said the group was granted $2.5m for the project be­fore the State elec­tion last year, which was scrapped with the change in gov­ern­ment.

In Jan­uary the project re­ceived State Gov­ern­ment fund­ing once again, this time for $1.5m, be­fore the com­mit­tee ap­proached the coun­cil to fill the gap.

“It has been a seven-year process and it has been ex­haust­ing, that’s why we were so dis­ap­pointed when the fund­ing got pulled,” Mr Hart said.

He said the loan would go to­wards build­ing three lease-for­life units, with ten­ders go­ing out in Fe­bru­ary and plans to begin con­struc­tion in May.

“It was a priv­i­lege to be part of all the ne­go­ti­a­tions and de­bate on Tues­day and I thank the shire coun­cil­lors sin­cerely for their faith in the com­mit­tee and the project we’re about to un­der­take.

“I was very im­pressed with the stan­dard and tone of the de­bate, it was a good ex­am­ple of how a coun­cil should op­er­ate.”

Har­vey shire pres­i­dent Tania Jack­son said the project would ben­e­fit the town so­cially and eco­nom­i­cally by al­low­ing peo­ple to stay liv­ing in the com­mu­nity.

“Coun­cil de­cided that given our long sup­port of the project it was a wor­thy re­quest for us to sup­port that,” Cr Jack­son said.

“With changes of gov­ern­ment and hold­ing off on some fund­ing they thought se­cured, the project has had its ups and downs.

“It’s a ded­i­cated group of peo­ple who have achieved great re­sults for the town of Brunswick.”

Her­itage church com­mit­tee chair­man Kerry Haw­ley, for­mer Har­vey shire pres­i­dent Maidee Smith and com­mit­tee mem­ber Suzanne Saun­ders were thrilled with the re­sults.

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