Ten playgrounds, multiple shared paths stretching from Cameron Park to Cardiff and several intersection upgrades in Morisset, Windale and Charlestown are among 49 community infrastructure projects, funded by development contributions, which will be accelerated to keep people in jobs and the Lake Macquarie economy moving.
Lake Macquarie Mayor, Kay Fraser said the opening of new playgrounds at Taylor Park, Barnsley and Marks Oval, Floraville were two of 10 additional playgrounds being constructed across the City since Council responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These projects are strategically important to the City and provide considerable investment and public benefit. While some have a timeline of up to 18 months to construction, 10 playground projects were fast-tracked in the initial response to the pandemic,” Cr Fraser said.
She said Council’s acceleration program has been made possible through collaboration with the Urban Development Institute of Australia and the Property Council of Australia on a review of works programs associated with Council’s Development Contributions Plans.
“This review work is identifying opportunities to accelerate the delivery of projects within the Development Contributions Plans, while also providing new opportunities for external consultants to provide professional services to Council,” the Mayor said.
The combined programs include nearly 50 projects, generating at least $3 million of expenditure on top of Council’s 2020-2021 Operational Plan, with an expected pipeline of up to $40 million worth of projects funded by development contributions. Some of the projects are progressing to ‘shovel-ready’ so they can be delivered in future Operational Plans.
“Lake Macquarie City Council’s refreshing approach to form a working group with industry to get moving on delivering local community projects is delivering real benefits,” said UDIA Hunter Chapter Chairman Geoffrey Rock.
“Lake Macquarie City Council has demonstrated how engaging with industry expertise can help local government deliver for their residents,” Mr Rock said.
“Fast-tracking the design and construction of community infrastructure projects allows for new jobs and construction work to continue where possible. But it’s more than just a new footpath or playground for our community. Building community infrastructure promotes growth and supports thriving communities,” Cr Fraser said.
“Every time we build a new community asset we’re supporting jobs from start to finish, whether that’s an architect to design it, a concreting plant to provide the materials and a cleaner or mower to maintain it.
“We must keep up the momentum and move beyond short-term stimulus with projects that will deliver growth and jobs in the medium term and this acceleration program does just that,” added Cr Fraser.
See a full list of the fast-track projects at https://www.lakemac.com.au/Projects/Fast-track-projects.