Shire budget wish lists

FUNDING for the Boisdale Recreation Reserve and walking paths in Loch Sport are among submissions made to Wellington Shire Council’s draft budget.

Council received 13 written submissions for the draft 2018-19 budget, which will be formally received during today’s special meeting.

Verbal submissions will also be accepted during the meeting, which begins at 3pm.

The Boisdale Recreation Reserve committee has requested more than $28,000 for works recommended in the 2010 reserve master plan — the redevelopment of the visitors’ and umpire changerooms, power supply upgrade and improved lighting.

“To date, the recreation reserve has not received any significant amount of funding, from the council, to enable the reserve committee to have any of these capital works completed,” the committee submitted.

The committee is preparing a grant application to the Latrobe Valley Authority. If successful, the state government body will provide $345,700, leaving the committee needing to secure an additional $115,300.

“Half of this amount will be covered by in-kind labour that the football-netball club will provide, however, the reserve committee still needs to come up with an amount equalling the in-kind labour ($57,526).”

The reserve committee has asked council to cover half of that amount.

The Loch Sport Community Representative Group has asked for money for the construction of pathways in the town.

“Victoria St from the Camerons Rd roundabout to Marina Drive, Marina Drive to Basin Boulevard are all extremely dangerous roads (to walk alongside),” the committee submitted.

“The Lake Victoria walking track has no lighting and is extremely dark and overgrown.

“The track is quite rough with many overhanging branches, as well as fallen branches on and beside the track.”

The Gippsland Plains Rail Trail Committee of Management has asked for $125,000 for projects, such as the completion of the section between Cowwarr and Dawson, including the construction of a bridge over the Thomson River, and works between Traralgon and Glengarry.

Committee chairman Helen Hoppner said the LVA had given interim support for the works, but funding was needed from other levels of government for them to proceed. Money is also being sought from the federal government and Latrobe City Council.

“The trail has become a significant tourist asset and delivers an economic boost to small business, a healthy alternative use for locals and seeks to preserve, extend and management our unique Gippsland natural environment,” Ms Hoppner wrote.

Maffra resident Chris Durrant has asked for lighting to be erected in Boisdale St between Cedarwood and Hillcrest Drives.

“In parts of that walk on a moonless night, it is a real security risk as there is very little vision,” he wrote.

“I would hate to see an assault or accident happen because of this.”

A walking and cycling track from Seaspray to The Honeysuckles is needed, according to Seaspray Ratepayers Association president and Seaspray Reserve Committee of Management member Kaylene Wheeler.

“The community have been asking for this track for many years, but in 2017 it became apparent that it had to be moved from low priority to high priority due to the very serious accident that happened to a local walking group of ladies who were seriously injured by a vehicle while walking on the road,” Ms Wheeler submitted.

“There are no footpaths or suitable safe walking paths and tracks in Seaspray.”

Ms Wheeler, who also requested zebra crossings in Futcher St and Shoreline Drive, was concerned the increased number of families walking on the roads, especially during the school holidays and weekends, could lead to another tragedy.

Christopher Cato, on behalf of the Port Albert Progress Association, requested funding to build public toilets at Stockyard Point.

The toilet facilities in the area were closed to the public in 2016.

“Tourists and visitors to our lovely town are being ‘caught short’ and are embarrassingly forced to urinate in public,” Mr Cato wrote.

The nearby Customs House Inn is collecting donations from nonpatrons using the facilities to go towards a new public toilet.

The Wellington Blackberry Taskforce has asked for an increase in its roadside vegetation budget to cover weed spraying and management, the Gippsland Climate Change Network $6000, Debbie Webster funding for drainage, extension of the sea wall and installation of rubbish bins on the foreshore, while the Gippsland Sports Academy asked council to resume its financial support of the academy.

Council has proposed an average rate rise of 2.25 per cent, and an increase in rates and charges related garbage and waste.

The draft budget includes a $43.6 million capital works program, including the redevelopment of the stadium at the Cameron Sporting Complex in Maffra.

Council will use the submissions as part of its considerations before adopting the final budget next Tuesday, June 5.