Cr David Bowe: Good things happening

There are quite a few positive things happening at Council that I want to mention.

I am really pleased that we were able to make a change to the draft budget to allow $66,000 to be set aside for cleanup and landscaping works at the Horsham rail corridor.

The allocation of money came after some good advocacy work from the Friends of the Horsham Railway Station Precinct and the Horsham Tidy Towns Committee.

Well done to Daryl Dower and his community group for the constructive ideas that came out of a meeting between locals and the rail precinct owners VicTrack as well Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and Council.

The budget allocation will be spent on the south side of the tracks where Council has leased land either side of the station building, between the Kalkee Road overpass and Wawunna Road.

This includes a row of large established trees, demolition of sheds, the renewal of garden beds and a general clean up.

There is good news for the other side of the railway line too, where ARTC leases the yards on the north section.

At our recent meeting, ARTC committed to undertaking a list of clean up jobs including general rubbish and graffiti removal as well as the removal of the ugly concrete structure that sits directly opposite the platform.

We all know the rail corridor is an eyesore and there is a lot of work to be done to get where we want. But these beautification works are a step in the right direction and I am very happy for the people of Horsham North, who, like myself, traverse the area regularly.

The inclusion of money in the budget also shows that constructive feedback from the community really can make a difference when it comes to Council decisions.

Another positive is the amount of feedback Council is receiving about the concept design for the refurbishment of Sawyer Park and City Oval.

More than 60 submissions have been lodged via the HRCC website so far. There is still time for people to download the concept plans and have their say before feedback closes at 4pm on Friday 23 July.

After that, our Councillor group will consider all of the public opinion that we have received through the feedback forms and decide whether the concept plans should be adopted.

If they are adopted, things would then progress to the detailed design stage.

The former Nexus building in Pynsent Street has undergone renovations and last year was renamed The Station.

But, due to the pandemic, it’s only been recently that young people have been able to get in there and enjoy the refurbishment. Last month The Station welcomed 120 people for retro gaming and hoodie designing events.

I saw firsthand that the young people thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it’s great to see teenagers being able to attend large gatherings again.

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