Swan Hill Rural City Council has released an ambitious plan to leverage $3.1 million of ratepayer funds to attract government investment and deliver $9.2 million worth of community projects.
The proposed projects will be in towns right around the municipality, and include new netball courts in Robinvale, Nyah and Woorinen; the Nyah West skate park; Manangatang pool upgrades; Boundary Bend Memorial park upgrades; Swan Hill Aerodrome upgrades; and a municipality-wide art festival.
Mayor Bill Moar said the projects had community backing, and ranged from small beautification works to large-scale new infrastructure.
“This plan is ambitious and will require some luck. But we are improving our chances of attracting funds by putting up good projects. These projects have the backing of local communities, will make a big difference to the lives of local people, and economic benefits too,” he said.
“Almost all State and Federal funding streams require local investment, so we will use ratepayer funds as that local contribution. If we can get $9 million worth of projects for a $3 million local investment, we’ll consider that a huge success.
“We hope to start delivering some of these projects in the first half of 2020, but of course, many are reliant on receiving funds and will only roll out as funding is obtained.”
Council was recently allocated $2 million from the Commonwealth’s Drought Communities Program, and will seek Commonwealth approval to use the funds for 12 different projects in small towns around the municipality.
Funding for other projects will be sought from Regional Development Victoria, Sport and Recreation Victoria, the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, the Federal Regional Airport Program, the Murray Darling Basin Economic Development Fund, and Victoria’s Great Outdoor Camping and Caravan Grant.
Projects to be delivered under the Drought Communities Program (subject to Commonwealth approval):
- Re-sheeting of various rural roads ($400,000)
- Manangatang pool upgrades ($120,000)
- Swan Hill Regional Livestock Exchange cattle loading facility ($50,000)
- Nyah West Skate Park ($50,000 plus $44,000 from Council)
- Boundary Bend Memorial Park makeover ($25,000)
- Public art and the ACRE 21 Land Art Festival ($100,000)
- Lake Boga southern entrance irrigation upgrade ($80,000)
- Tourism signage and gateway upgrades ($100,000)
- Manangatang Pre-school entrance ($25,000)
- New Robinvale netball courts ($440,000, plus $200,000 from Council)
- Robinvale netball lighting ($150,000, to be leveraged to attract an additional $320,000 from State Government)
- New Nyah netball courts and lighting ($400,000, plus Council, Sport and Recreation Victoria and user groups funding)
- Cricket nets at Gurnett Oval, Swan Hill, and at Robinvale ($60,000, plus Council, Sport and Recreation Victoria and user groups funding)
Council will leverage ratepayer funds to seek State and Federal funding for other projects:
- Swan Hill Aerodrome Upgrade
- Vibrant Villages Stage 1 which involves beautification projects in Woorinen South, Ultima, Manangatang, Lake Boga, Boundary Bend, Piangil, Beverford, Nyah and Nyah West
- Swan Hill Leisure Centre group fitness room
- Ken Harrison soccer facility
- Lake Boga changerooms
- Lake Boga Equestrian Centre
- Woorinen netball courts
- Water and power upgrades at Swan Hill Riverside Caravan Park
- Lake Boga Caravan Park amenities
- Robinvale Caravan Park leisure facilities