Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Economic reboot

Recent stories

A total of 25 civil and $7.2 million in residential and commercial projects in the Narrandera Shire have given employment and service providers a massive boost.

Eagles players at sportsground
Eagles Under 15 players David Beard, 14, and Ky Bloomfield, 15, will be among those to benefit in the future from the new facilities underway at Narrandera sportsground. Photo Kim Woods

The civil projects undertaken with government and Council funds include:

  • The Narrandera sportsground
  • The Narrandera sports stadium
  • Narrandera Destination and Discovery Hub
  • Realignment of Kamarah Road

The civil building works have been complemented by $3.6 million worth of residential building applications and $3.6 million in commercial development applications lodged with Council during May.

The new $1.6 million Narrandera Sportsground facility is taking shape with the framing of both levels now completed and the roof on.

Plumbing and electrical works are well underway prior to the lining of the internal and external walls.

The project is tracking for opening in late August.

The Narrandera sports stadium upgrade is due to be completed at the end of this month and takes in a changeroom refurbishment and new flooring in the foyer, office and kiosk. Temporary toilets have been installed and connected during the works.

This work is partly funded by the Drought Communities Program.

Cr Narelle Payne described the Narrandera sports stadium as one of Council’s most successful amenities in the town.

“It is used by a lot of the youth, the manager Lee Longford does a fantastic job and the stadium is getting better and better as a facility,” Cr Payne said.

“It’s a credit to Narrandera – others are quite envious of our stadium.

“The new changeroom facilities at the sportsground will be a great asset for the shire.”

The third major construction project is the Narrandera Destination Discovery Hub.

Studio S2 Architects Amy and Dan Smedley visited Narrandera in April as part of developing a brand or feel for the hub to reflect the shire.

A new design submitted to Council in May for the hub connects to the park using views through the building by positioning the office on the southern side.

Deputy general manager infrastructure Shane Wilson told council the Studio S2 design was a mix of natural and contemporary finishes to reflect the natural setting of the river country and the playful features of the town, including the festoon lighting and Lake Talbot Water Park.

The building brand is “Choose your own adventure” reflecting Council’s vision for visitors to experience a taste of what is on offer and then choosing to experience more.

“The architects are now in the design development phase where they will take the concept plans and work with engineers to develop the detailed construction drawings,” Mr Wilson said.

“Running parallel to the building design is developing the content for the Discovery Hub.

“This will involve input from the community to identify stories of Narrandera Shire the community wants to share.

“These stories will cover Narrandera Shire’s history, people and environment, and aim to be engaging and entice visitors to stay longer and learn more.”

A fourth major project nearing completion is the realignment on the southern end of Kamarah Road, with blasting undertaken on site.

This project was funded under the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program round six and Council.

These are among a total of 25 projects either underway or yet to be started in the shire, and a mix of grant money and Council funds.

Cr Barbara Bryon said the 25 projects in the portfolio showed how busy Council staff were.

Council has lodged applications under round five of the Building Better Regions Funds to further redevelop the Lake Talbot Caravan Park and energy cost saving upgrades of Council facilities.

Other projects nominated by Council for inclusion in the yet-to-be-announced round six of the Building Better Regions Funds:

  • Council has been in discussion with the Australian Airline Pilot Academy and Rex on the potential establishment of a pilot training academy at Narrandera airport.
  • An application has been lodged with the NSW Government at the end of last year to upgrade the Narrandera business centre.
  • Council recently called for expressions of interest from suitable applicants for the development of an independent living village on Council-owned land in Elwin Street. No proposals have been received as yet.

Mayor Neville Kschenka is keen to see progress on the deepening of Lake Talbot and requested it be included on the list.

“It is becoming quite urgent – we have been lucky we have had skiing seasons where the lake has been open,” he said.

“We don’t want to end up in a position where we can’t do that.”

Cr Narelle Payne commented on the number of residential and commercial development applications during May.

“The amount of houses selling, being redeveloped and renovated is great testament to the activity in Narrandera shire,” she said.

“It shows how confident people are in the shire, reinforced by the positivity of the lodgement of development applications.”

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