Ballina Shire Council has successfully applied for $12.65 million through the NSW Government’s Local Infrastructure Fund.

This fund is designed to provide interest-free loans that will assist in the delivery of roads, sewerage treatment and water reuse facilities.

In announcing the funding, Premier Kristina Keneally said: “This funding is designed to serve dual purposes: providing an economic stimulus, and providing infrastructure for NSW’s growing number of homes.

“We are directing the funding at areas that will grow in population, with a specific focus on fast-tracking projects that will stimulate urban development and local jobs. This is a practical and immediate step the State Government is taking to help councils respond to their changing communities.”

The projects approved for the council are:

1. Wollongbar urban expansion area:

The Wollongbar Urban Expansion Area on the Alstonville Plateau is expected to accommodate around 2500 residents once developed, which will contribute to the target of 2600 dwellings by 2031 under the Far North Coast Regional Strategy.

However, lack of adequate infrastructure for this area has so far been a major constraint to development on site.

• Funding will support a pumping station and a sewer trunk main to allow development to commence – $2.3 million

• Funding will support development of a link road providing access to land-locked areas in the precinct, to allow development to commence – $2.8 million

2. Recycled water and reticulation component of Urban Water Management Strategy:

The recycled water and reticulation project is part of the Shire’s Urban Water ManagementStrategy which is a 20-year program of works required to accommodate the projected population growth in Ballina Shire.

• Funding will allow the delivery of recycled water to new residential subdivisions in the Ballina and Lennox Heads areas – $7.5 million.

Mayor Phillip Silver said: “This is an excellent outcome for our community and highlights the efforts that councillors and staff are making to ensure the delivery of high-quality infrastructure at minimal cost to the community.”