Harbour funding in doubt

DOUBTS are emerging over federal funding for a multi-million-dollar upgrade of the Jack Evans Boat Harbour in the heart of Tweed Heads.

Tweed Shire Council is waiting on word whether it will get more than $10 million necessary to complete the project.

That is despite neighbouring Byron Shire Council being officially told this month that it is getting more than $8 million for a sports and cult- ural complex at Byron Bay after making a similar funding application.

This week's statements on the federal Budget have contained no specific references to the Tweed funding.

Yesterday, council staff said they had not yet received the money.

And long time advocate of the upgrade, Cr Warren Polglase, confirmed there had been no advice received.

“The member for Page (Federal MP Janelle Saffin) has announced quite a few million dollars down there (in Byron) and we are expecting similar support from our federal member (Justine Elliot),” Cr Polglase said.

“The project is ready to go.

“We have some funding in the bank to start but we would like to push ahead as soon as possible and that can only be achieved with federal support.

“What council plans to do is build this with day labour which will keep quite a few people employed for some time.”

In April the council announced the long-awaited Jack Evans Boat Harbour revitalisation project and said it was a step closer to being realised after consultant completed a detailed design for stage one.

Council is contributing $3.37 million to the $14.35-million project.

The council has applied for $10.65 million from the Federal Government's regional local community infrastructure program.

The $7.6 million-first stage includes new boardwalks, harbour revetment, a cycleway, park furniture, landscaping, barbecues and the first phase of Aboriginal botanic gardens with artworks. Other facilities will include new toilet blocks and a kiosk.

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