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River Cottages will be on solid foundations thanks to a $750,000 loan from Harvey Shire Council after funding was withdrawn from the business last year.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