Nationals candidate for Clarence, Richie Williamson, said $1.5 million in funding announced by the NSW Nationals demonstrates the commitment to seeing the redevelopment of the Grafton Aquatic Centre achieved as quickly as possible.
Mr Williamson attended the funding announcement with Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis, representatives from Clarence Valley Council, and local user groups.
Clarence Valley Council has been successful in securing almost $1.5 million towards part of Stage One of the Grafton Aquatic Centre development under the latest round of the NSW Nationals Stronger Country Communities Fund.
Mr Williamson said the local community has made it loud and clear they want to see the redevelopment happen as a matter of priority.
“While more funding is needed to complete the redevelopment, today’s $1.5 million investment by the NSW Nationals is a great start and will allow existing buildings to be demolished and to facilitate the construction of the splash pad.
“We all want to see mums and dads back here with their kids enjoying the pool and getting swimming lessons back up and running.
“I know how important the pool is for Grafton, and I will do everything I can to advocate for further funds to ensure the project is realised.”
Mr Gulaptis said he was delighted to see the funding go towards some terrific local projects that will help activate local communities and improve community infrastructure.
“We all know how important it is for communities to have great places to come together to build social connections and boost their wellbeing through social interaction, which is what the SCCF is all about,” Mr Gulaptis said.
Welcoming the Clarence Aquatic Centre funding on behalf of Clarence Valley Council, Cr Peter Johnstone said the facility had reached its use by date and Council was very grateful for this investment by the NSW Nationals.
“It’s a huge project to rebuild the facility, so every bit of support is very welcome in helping Council reach its goal to redevelop the site,” Cr Johnstone said.
The funding from the SCCF will be used to facilitate part of Stage 1 of the project and to allow commencement of potential early works to demolish existing buildings and pools and to facilitate the construction of the splash pad.
Three other projects across the Clarence Valley were also successful securing funding under the Stronger Country Communities Fund to deliver grassroots projects in their local communities.
• Jana Ngalee Local Aboriginal Land Council – $273,586 for Malabugilmah community playground project
• Iluka Emporium – $143,698 to run creative workshops and exhibitions
• Lawrence Golf Club – $117,000 for new showers and toilets
In the past five years the Stronger Country Communities Fund had delivered more than 2,000 grassroots projects, benefiting every Local Government Area in regional NSW.
The Stronger Country Communities Fund is part of the Nationals in NSW Government’s $3.3 billion Regional Growth Fund, designed to support growing regional centres, activate local economies and improve services and community infrastructure in the regions.