Passions and practicalities vied for priority as Inverell Shire councillors worked through a list of possible special projects for delivery across the district over the next four years at Wednesday’s committee meeting.
Proposals for truck stops, toilets and tennis courts were tabled alongside equestrian, environmental and energy ideas in a bid for eventual funding, which is still pending.
“[The] task is to look at the projects that have been submitted,” Mayor Paul Harmon said, explaining the ideas come from constituents and councillors.
Activities making the final short list in July will receive preliminary planning assessments in order to be “shovel ready” as soon as a funding opportunities become available.
With 23 items on the wish list, Councillor Kate Dight brought the largest number of proposals. Among them were requests for improved visitor signage outside Yetman and Ashford; a cultural plan for arts initiatives; and the improvement or installation of various community and leisure facilities.
Councillors Neil McCosker and Jacki Watts want better truck stops in and around Delungra and Inverell; while Councillor Stewart Berryman is advocating for a wetlands area to alleviate drainage problems along Tingha Road, and a service to clean up exotic and invasive weeds along the riverbank.
Mayor Harmon is seeking regional promotion and income via a tagged fish competition at Copeton Dam to capitalise on the metre long cod reportedly in the waterway.
“They’re real and there’s more than one of them,” Cr Anthony Michael confirms.
Councillor Di Baker wants more native trees in roadside reserves, a granite equestrian pad, a play area at Lake Inverell Reserve, and better street lighting.
Although it is unknown whether existing funds or special grants will eventually enable the projects to become a reality, Mayor Harmon says that all items on the council’s last Delivery Plan were achieved within two years.
Once decided, the Draft Delivery Plan 2017-2021, will be placed on public exhibition before being finalised at the July Council meeting.