Tamworth Regional Council lays out capital works spend

A GOOD PLACE: Tamworth Regional Council mayor Col Murray ready to spend big. Photo: Gareth Gardner

A GOOD PLACE: Tamworth Regional Council mayor Col Murray ready to spend big. Photo: Gareth Gardner

TAMWORTH is in line for an $80 million facelift with council laying out its proposed capital works for the next financial year.

Tamworth Regional Council has put its draft Annual Operational Plan (AOP) on public exhibition and its ready to spend big.

Council has pledged $33 million for renewal in capital works and a further $48 million for new and upgraded work.

The budgeted 2017/18 spend blows the previous financial year out of the water where TRC put just $57 million into capital works.

Mayor Col Murray said it’s a good place to be in, and while it was a bumpy journey, the Fit for the Future program rode shotgun as the region arrived at its current destination.

“We see local government bodies right across NSW that don’t have capacity to do hardly any capital works,” Cr Murray told The Leader.

“I think in a lot of ways, part of the success has been down to the program we’ve been through with Fit for the Future.

“It has actually forced councils to be more strategic in their planning.”

TAKING OFF: The airport is key to unlocking region's future, according to the mayor. Photo: Peter Hardin

TAKING OFF: The airport is key to unlocking region's future, according to the mayor. Photo: Peter Hardin

More than $6 million has been slated for works at the airport, through various grants and reserves, infrastructure which will unlock the city’s future growth, according to the mayor.

“The airport is a profitable business unit of council,” he said.

“It is a very highly geared business unit, so there’s lots of provisions that need to be made in maintaining things like runaway, all of the buildings and the businesses.”

AELEC is in line for a $265,000 makeover, another sign the region is in a pretty good place, the mayor says.

“I think the community should be really comforted that, AELEC is not quite paying itself but it’s very close,” he said.

“Which is a great outcome when you consider that our pools lose a significant sum of money every year, almost $1.5 million.

“To have well-performing assets like AELEC, from a public sector sense, is a really good place to be.”

The ball is now rolling on some big infrastructure projects for the city including the aquatic centre and a performing arts centre, but the challenge remains to get more happening in the smaller towns and villages.

A challenge which would have been steepened by a merger with Walcha.

“It would’ve taken our eye off the main game a little bit,” Cr Murray said.

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