Eva Harrelson and Mia Plankovich try out the new playground equipment at Ambrose Brown Park with Justine Elliot.
Eva Harrelson and Mia Plankovich try out the new playground equipment at Ambrose Brown Park with Justine Elliot. FELICIA KOSEGI

Renovated parks open with smiles

IT was smiles all round as Federal Labor MP Justine Elliot, her National Party challenger Tania Murdock and Tweed mayor Warren Polglase, a senior National Party member, met at the official opening of more than half-a-million dollars of improvements to two coastal parks yesterday.

Ms Elliot, the member for Richmond and federal Minister for Ageing along with Cr Polglase unveiled $470,000 of improvements to Ambrose Brown Park at Pottsville and $340,000 of work to Jack Bayliss Park at North Kingscliff.

In a ceremony at the Pottsville park, a short walk from Mrs Murdock’s business interests, Mrs Elliot officially opened the renovated parks which had been revamped using $530,000 from the Federal Government’s economic stimulus package.

“The Rudd Government contributed $530,000 to the Tweed Shire Council as part of our investment to support jobs in the local economy and deliver long lasting benefits to the local community,” Mrs Elliot said.

“During construction, these projects supported 90 jobs locally, and will continue to support jobs through ongoing maintenance and services.”

Cr Polglase welcomed the upgrades at the two parks, saying the renovations set a benchmark for future park upgrades throughout the Tweed.

“Ambrose Brown Park has been a meeting place for families and their friends for generations so it’s great to see such a family-friendly upgrade,” he added.

At Ambrose Brown Park $230,000 was spent to improve the park’s facilities, including internal pathways which will allow access to the park in all weather conditions.

On the Kingscliff foreshore $300,000 was spent to upgrade the existing toilet block and create new facilities including barbecues, shelters and play equipment.

Cr Polglase said removing a roadway and bus stop from the Pottsville park had created a safe, vehicle-free environment for children and parents.

“One of the most popular elements is proving to be the all-access boardwalk which leads straight to Mooball Creek,” he said.

“On behalf of Tweed Shire Council I’d like to thank the Australian Government and our local member”.

Other improvements at the Pottsville park include new barbecues, shelters, shaded seating, a playground at the northern end of the park and a revamped toilet block.

Facilities upgraded at Jack Bayliss Park included shelters and barbecues, while new pathways, a viewing deck, lighting and new play equipment were also added.

Ms Elliot said the projects were fast-tracked to provide an immediate economic stimulus to cushion the impact of the global downturn in the local community.

“In total, the Rudd Government has provided more than $145.4 million through the economic stimulus plan for 752 projects in the electorate of Richmond to support jobs and improve local infrastructure,” she said.

Cr Polglase thanked “the Australian Government and our local member Justine Elliot for contributing”.

Mrs Murdock, who watched on, was endorsed the previous day as the National’s candidate for Ms Elliot’s seat.

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