Major projects to boost strong development trend
A development and economic upturn in Murrumbidgee Council experienced last year, particularly in Jerilderie, is expected to continue.
The council is yet to spend its $8.5 million share of Stronger Community major projects funding — made available through the merger of the former Jerilderie and Murrumbidgee shires — which will provide a significant boost to developments this year.
It also expects a 2017 trend to continue, which saw a growing number of development applications and complying developments with increased investment confidence.
Murrumbidgee Council expects to kickstart its major projects program this month.
At its December meeting, the council confirmed $2.41 million will be spent in Jerilderie, $2.82 in Coleambally and $2.6 million in Darlington Point.
Priority projects for all towns have been subject to further discussion and general manager Craig Moffitt said the first of the funded projects was expected to be announced this month.
‘‘This year could be perhaps even more positive than 2017 because of those big ticket items, plus we have other projects we’re waiting on funding for,’’ Mr Moffitt said.
‘‘We have decided to announce the major projects one by one and we expect we can make the first (announcement) in February, with more in subsequent months.’’
In terms of projects requiring development application or complying development consent in 2017, 50 were approved across the whole council area.
Twenty of those occurred in Jerilderie, with a combined value of $2.88 million.
The largest single project requiring development approval was valued between $350,000 and $380,000.
While the numbers are slightly down on the 2016 figures — where $500,000 was the highest value of 54 projects — Mr Moffitt said all signs point to an improved result in 2018.
And he said development applications were not the only indicator of economic strength, with some projects not needing development approval to proceed.
‘‘We expect to see an increase in industrial, infrastructure and also commercial interests,’’ Mr Moffitt said.
‘‘In Jerilderie, for example, we’re already seeing three new business start-ups in the main street.
‘‘It demonstrates that economic resilience is being evidenced in a very practical way within the small business/retail sector.
‘‘The upswing in manufacturing and construction that is evidenced in Australian Bureau of Statistics data indicates some diversification away from agriculture, and this is strengthening the economy.’’
One of the larger scale development applications approved by Murrumbidgee Council in 2017 was stage two of the Wunnamurra Estate subdivision project.
Mr Moffitt said the construction phase injects dollars into the town through the purchase of fuel, and morning teas and lunches for sub-contractors working on site.
He said the flow-on effects to local subcontractors also provides a welcome economic boost.