Nine months have passed since the Great Lakes, Greater Taree and Gloucester councils were merged into one ‘super’ council.
As part of the government’s attempts to lighten the blow of these universally unpopular amalgamations millions of dollars were allocated to merged councils.
The Stronger Communities funding was made available to all councils created through the government’s Fit for the Future reform program.
At this month’s ordinary council meeting MidCoast Council agreed on how to divvy up the spoils
The former Greater Taree council would receive the lion’s share of the funding with a preliminary estimate of $9 million, Gloucester allocated $4 million, while Great Lakes was given $1 million.
The funding allocations quashes rumours circulating from both the north and west that the former Great Lakes would be more favoured when it came to hand-outs.
The government specified that funding was to be allocated to large scale priority infrastructure and service projects which delivered long term economic and social benefits to the community.
In a media release put out by MidCoast Council this week, it was resolved at the council meeting that the $14 million would best serve the community through investment in the region’s transport network.
The condition of the region’s roads and bridges has been the subject of a long and on-going discussion that started well before the formation of MidCoast Council, the press release said.
“Our priority is to maximise the life of our assets through a renewal program that holds our sealed roads at a satisfactory condition,” interim general manager, Glenn Handford said.
“We’ve identified a program of priority projects across the region that will deliver benefits to our communities that are over and above what the three former councils were in a position to fund.”
This would include an extensive road resealing program and targeted road renewals through to the 2018-19 financial year, bridge assessments and repairs targeting more than 200 ageing timber bridges and a contribution to design and reconstruct a dangerous section of Thunderbolts Way.