Grants give vital boost to Goulburn Mulwaree | Editorial Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Goulburn Mulwaree Council is proving particularly adept at securing government grants.

Millions of dollars have flowed into coffers in recent years for key projects such as the Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Performing Arts Centre, Rocky Hill War Memorial Museum and Victoria Park.

The latest money for the Wollondilly Riverside Walk (pictured) and Seiffert Oval is particularly welcome. The former project has gone ahead in leaps and bounds and has proven popular with the weekly park run and hundreds of people simply enjoying the view. Our rivers have been under-utilised for too long. Likewise, Seiffert Oval is receiving a much-needed face-lift.

The grant funding is significantly reducing the burden on ratepayers. That’s thanks to a few things. We recall it was former economic development committee member and Marulan man, David Humphreys who suggested to the council several years ago that it employ grants officers. The aim was to secure more funding for projects large and small.

The council had not registered significant success in this area. Applications were often deficient and put together by staff who had many other responsibilities.

All that has changed, with much higher quality submissions and a high rate of success. It has secured vital road and bridge funding and greatly reduced loans. 

The political environment is also working in our favour. Hume MP Angus Taylor is proactive in thrashing out opportunities with the council and arguing the case. Goulburn MP Pru Goward has also lobbied for significant arts and cultural funds, most notably the recent $4.5 million for the performing arts centre. The looming State election will no doubt see more thrown our way.

But the council has been active in pursuing opportunities too. Never before have we seen so much building happening. Next cab off the rank is the aquatic centre, with a $10m application to the State’s Sports Infrastructure Fund.

In addition, it is pursuing funding for infrastructure at south Goulburn to free up traffic flow and assist development in the area. In the city’s north, it is applying for $7.15m from the state government for road, water, sewer, communication and utility connections yet to be rezoned employment land and large companies establishing there.  

These pots of gold have been a nice change for Goulburn Mulwaree, which too often has been overlooked.