Echuca East Precinct could be boosted by government funding

By Lachlan Durling

THE Echuca East Community Precinct plan could soon be realised if Campaspe Shire Council is successful in a multi-million dollar bid for Victorian Government funding.

A more than $8 million six-stage sweeping vision would see the community precinct overhauled throughout six stages, with council applying for a loan of almost $7 million for stages one to four.

Council has applied for two of the low-interest loans through the Community Infrastructure Loan Scheme for two projects in the district, the Echuca East Precinct and the Gunbower Lions Park.

However mayor Adrian Weston said council isn’t counting their chickens just yet, with councils state wide competing for a piece of the $100 million funding pie.

“The Gunbower Lions Park Project aims to revitalise the town with a barbecue and shelter, natural play space, canoe launch, street furniture, flagpole and rock monument, a new footpath network, tractor relocation and landscaping at a total project cost of $811,250,” Cr Weston said.

“The Echuca East Community Project incorporates a multipurpose community building, multipurpose open activity space, designated off leash dog park, cycling and walking paths, open space facilities and an accessible play space.

“The project has been separated into six stages with a total cost of $8,200,650. Council agreed to lodge a loan application for stages one to four at a total cost of $6,946,567.”

Council considered progressing an application for a $1.3 million loan to deliver the Waranga Rail Trail project, however it was identified as a prospective candidate for future grant funding.

“Council did not want to over commit by potentially adding three major projects to the 2020-21 budget, putting significant strain on council resources and finances,” Cr Weston said.

As part of the grants, councils can apply for loans between $500,000 and $10 million to deliver significant community infrastructure projects.

The two applications were lodged at the end of last month and council will be notified of the outcome of the application by the Victorian Government after February 2020.