COVID-19 Stimulus Package could help fund major upgrades

Published on 26 June 2020

Norm Fox Concept web.jpg

 PLEASE NOTE: Full size images of the park and oval plans can be accessed in the "related information" panel on the right (web) or below (mobile). 

Council could utilise COVID-19 relief funding to kickstart major upgrades to the city's central business district (CBD) and key recreational facilities, according to Council's General Manager, James Roncon.

Under the NSW Government's $395 million Stimulus Package for Local Government, Council can access a $10 million loan at a fixed interest rate of 1.85% over 10 years to help them recover from the effects from the pandemic.

If Council votes in favour of utilising the Stimulus Package as part of a "future proof" scenario outlined in the 20/21 budget, it could use the money as seed funding to attract grants for significant upgrades across the city.

Mr Roncon said the construction projects would provide a boost to the local economy and provide much-needed upgrades for local infrastructure.

"We know major projects help stimulate the economy and create jobs, but it can be tough to secure Government funding for those projects if you don't have some seed funding get the ball rolling," he said.

"The money from this Stimulus Package would allow us to contribute to major projects and greatly increase the chances of securing funding for significant infrastructure upgrades for our city."

Projects earmarked for funding would be an upgrade of Norm Fox Oval, the CBD, and a rejuvenation of Queen Elizabeth to complement the relocation of the picnic Train from Kintore Reserve.

The first stage of the Norm Fox upgrade would include new turf and irrigation, a new synthetic cricket wicket, cricket nets, soccer oval, walking track, and seating, while a second stage would see accessibility works to connect the soccer, cricket, tennis, and netball facilities across the complex.

The city's central business district would be upgraded in line with a new masterplan for the area, and would include more trees and greenery, and new light poles incorporating banners.

Meanwhile the Queen Elizabeth Park upgrade would see new grass and irrigation, toilets, car parking, paths, BBQ areas, dog wash facilities, and a train-themed playground to complement the picnic train's relocation.

Mr Roncon said he believed the projects would be welcomed by local families.

"The Government has made this money available to help Councils kickstart their economy after the pandemic, and these projects will certainly do that whilst providing better amenities for families," he said.

"We're still only early in the design process on both projects, but they're already shaping up as very exciting and worthwhile developments for Broken Hill."

Councillors will decide whether to access the Stimulus Package for Local Government when it adopts the 20/21 budget at an extraordinary meeting next week.