The State Government has notified Kiama Council its request for an additional $11 million for the Minnamurra Boardwalk has been declined.
Council is hoping that other cycling-related projects it has identified will be accepted to utilise the remaining $3.8 million of the original $4.5 million grant from the Active Transport Funding Program.
In a letter to Council on the matter, the Member for Kiama, Gareth Ward, said, “I do not wish to see these funds lost to our community and whilst I cannot guarantee that we will be able to reprioritise these funds, I will endeavour to work collaborately with Council to ensure this could occur.”
He also expressed his disappointment that the Minnamurra Boardwalk was not properly costed in the first place.
The projects Council will be nominating for the redistribution are:
- the Jamberoo Cycleway extension – $2.4m
- investigation and design development for Kiama Bends (Princes Highway) shoulder widening, including consideration of the Old Mill road as an alternative or complementary route – $500,000
- Omega Flat to Fern St, Gerringong pathway: revised elevated design and costing – $400,000
- Town Centre bicycle facilities improvements – $300,000
- Network connectivity improvements to the Minnamurra Bike Skills Track – $128,000.
A suggestion from the President of the Minnamurra Progress Association, Cliff Mason, that some of the money be allocated to the northern, on-ground element of the Boardwalk project, connecting up with Federal Ave, was not taken up.
While the Boardwalk project is in limbo at the moment, it will continue to be put forward by Council as funding opportunities arise.
“It has the environmental approvals and design fully completed,” says Council’s General Manager, Kerry McMurray.
“It is a shovel ready project if the money becomes available.”
He says the figure of $15.5 million is based on the assessment of quantity suveyors at 100% design, with 20% contingency.
At the 60% design phase, the estimated cost was $9.5 million, already significantly above the grant amount.