Funds debate ignited

Members of the Narrandera community and Councillors join Member for Farrer Sussan Ley in celebrating the annoucement of federal funding for the new clubrooms at the Narrandera Sportground back in May.

A request to help fund the Narrandera Eagles new clubrooms at the Narrandera Sportsground has ignited a debate over aged care funding in the Narrandera Shire.

Narrandera Imperial Football Netball Club asked the Council to commit a cash contribution of $268,000 plus an in-kind contribution of $45,000 towards the proposed $2.04 million clubrooms.

Council has agreed to support the project subject to a $200,000 cash contribution from the AFL and a $73,360 cash contribution from the NIFNC.

The proposed clubrooms will feature a bar, kitchen and amenities on the main floor, changerooms, umpires rooms, strapping and medical rooms on the lower ground floor. It is to be built on the southern side of the existing grandstand to give a superior view over the oval and scoreboard. There will be the ability to secure and integrate grandstand change rooms and new change rooms for major events.

The NIFNC received $1.4 million in funding through an election promise by Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley.

Cr Wesley Hall said the project was an excellent opportunity for Narrandera to take advantage of the generosity of the Federal Government.

Council proposes to transfer $263,000 from the Closure of Teloca Fund Reserve and $52,000 from the Delivery of Aged Strategies Reserve as its contribution to the project.

Cr Barbara Bryon queried why the project was being funded by aged facility funds within the Council budget.

Deputy General Manager Corporate and Community Martin Hiscox said the proceeds from the sale of Teloca amounted to $5.86 million.

“At the start of 2018-19 financial year, there was $5.545 million remaining in those funds, which was made up of $2 million for the main street (master plan), $1.92 million for the (Lake Talbot master plan), $1.003 million for aged strategy, and $595,000 was unallocated,” Mr Hiscox said.

“During the budget last year, Council allocated $1.738 million of those funds – $196,000 was to the main street (masterplan), $1.24 million to (Lake Talbot), and $300,000 to the aged care units at Barellan.

“The balance available at the beginning of this financial year would be $3.8 million.

“In its 2019-20 budget, Council has allocated $1.667 million to the main street, $646,000 to the pool, $500,000 to the pool out of the aged strategy, and $332,000 to the pool from the unallocated funds.

“The projected balance of the fund at the end of the 2019-20 financial year is $660,000, including the aged strategy with $230,000 and the unallocated with $263,000 – they are the sources for the (NIFNC) project.”

Cr Jenny Clarke shared Cr Bryon’s concern over the funds from Teloca House.

Cr Narelle Payne requested the $230,000 for the aged strategy be quarantined to ensure the original allocation of $1,000,030 is spent on aged care.

Mr Hiscox said the proposal was to use $52,000 from the aged strategy component.

“There will still be monies remaining in the Teloca reserve but there won’t be any that is unallocated,” he said.

General manager George Cowan said details of the Federal grant were unknown but meetings were scheduled between Council and the AFL later in the month.

Council will not be responsible for the operating costs of the new building, including electricity, cleaning and maintenance. The club occupies the clubhouse under a 20 year licence agreement with the Council.

The design and costing undertaken by the NIFNC has the project costed at $2.04 million.

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