COVID-19 could deliver Livingstone $15m windfall
IN a positive to come out of the coronavirus crisis, Livingstone Shire is in the box seat to secure almost $15 million funding for road projects in what Mayor Bill Ludwig has described as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.
This week the council signed off on the 10 projects it will put forward for funding.
With an economic downturn imminent as a result of the current pandemic, the Federal Government is providing funds to fast-track critical projects across the country to create jobs and strengthen the economy.
At Tuesday’s council meeting Cr Ludwig was bullish the authority could secure all of the $14.95 million required to start 10 priority road projects over the next six to 12 months.
Those projects are Old Byfield Rd; Lake Mary Road (stages one and two); Cobraball Rd; Sleipner Rd (stages one and two); Dawson Rd; Mt Chalmers Rd; Artillery Rd and Etna Creek Rd.
Furthermore, Cr Ludwig said Livingstone would not stop there and would start preparing a submission for the next round of Federal Government funding.
“This ($14.95m in projects) is what we can roll out within a six to 12 month period if we engage every available contractor that we can get,” he said.
“And this isn’t money for council to be doing the work, this is money to stimulate our economy by getting private sector contractors to do the bulk of this work so that we can stimulate supply chains.
“This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, absolutely, for us to actually do up just about every one of our major strategic linkages.
“Every one of these roads is a key road. Every one of these roads will benefit our primary producers, it will benefit our rural brigades for fire-fighting, it will actually open up and drive tourism opportunities.
“Grey nomads with their camper vans, a lot of the time, will not go on dirt roads.
“This will ensure we can open up those roads appropriately and can I say, this is round one.
“As soon as we get this lot under way, we will be applying for round two (funding).
“We are going to absolutely be in the box seat to do each and every one of these (10) projects.”
The above-mentioned funding is separate to the $1m federal funding Livingstone recently secured from the bushfire recovery package which will go towards the following seven roads projects in the shire:
- Gravel Pit Rd to Tookers Rd - upgraded to allow northern brigades access;
- Sealing of Grandbower Rd;
- 221 Lake Mary Rd - about 400m of bitumen in front of a new rural fire brigade (shed) location;
- Construction of turnaround at the end of Maries Rd which allows linkage to breaks;
- Entrance from road to driveway apron at Coowonga Rural Fire Brigade;
- Construction of access from road to concrete apron of Nerimbera Rural Fire Brigade;
- Upgrade to New Zealand Gully Rd - 3.1km including clearing.