A national archives storage facility for Goulburn may be in abeyance but a bevy of other projects and business opportunities are on the boil.
Mayor Bob Kirk confirmed that a company had this week lodged a development application for a whisky distillery near Marulan.
While details are scant at this stage, Cr Kirk says the site is north of the town, off the Hume Highway.
The council's business development manager, Jackson Reardon, previously told The Post that the outfit wanted to base its operations on those of a Tasmanian company, believed to be Sullivans Cove distillery at Cambridge, Tasmania.
It has been looking for sites in Goulburn Mulwaree for over a year.
READ MORE: Whiskey distillery checks out Goulburn sites
Mr Reardon said last year that the proponents would not use large amounts of water and wanted to include a restaurant and cellar door, giving people "the whole experience."
Other projects in the area are also ramping up. A crane will be onsite at the Goulburn Aquatic Centre this week as demolition begins for a $29.8 million redevelopment. The work was brought forward given the indoor pool's closure due to coronavirus.
Operations director Matt O'Rourke reported to the most recent council meeting that preliminary works such as preparation of construction management plans and finalisation of construction certificates would occur in July and August. A modified DA, encompassing design amendments would also be assessed.
FDC Contracting is completing the stage one project which includes a new eight-lane 25m indoor pool; refurbished existing indoor pool and a program pool; indoor leisure pool; expanded plaza and landscaping; new entrance plaza; hydrotherapy pool; new change rooms; café linking with Victoria Park, outdoor pool upgrades and a new gymnasium.
Elsewhere, installation of pre-cast walls is expected to begin next month on the $18.95 million Performing Arts Centre. Mr O'Rourke said about 200 panels measuring 12 metres by 1.8m had to be put in place.
The structural work will continue until the end of the year, when roofing and cladding will begin. A report stated $2.85m had been spent to date. Mr O'Rourke expected some cost impact due to screw piles being drilled deeper into foundations but told councillors that a contingency fund would cover this.
On other fronts, several renewable energy projects are in preliminary stages. Mr Reardon said proponents of a 600 megawatt solar farm at Parkesbourne, 15km southwest of Goulburn, were studying site constraints and Hume Highway access.
"Once that work is done they will submit an environmental impact study by the end of the year or early next year," he said.
Photon Energy is also preparing an EIS for its 144Mw solar farm at Carrick, planned for the Lockyerleigh property.
Mr Reardon said Everon Energy had also contacted the council about a potential small scale solar farm at Murrays Flat. The company was negotiating with a landowner.
In June, the council received development applications for two large industrial warehouses at south Goulburn, covering a total 1900 square metres.
Also in the city's south, council negotiations are on hold with the National Archives about locating a storage arm at the Coles Distribution Centre. Coles has a lease until February, 2022. Melbourne-based Pelligra Group bought the building earlier this year.
Mr Reardon said the council was awaiting the outcome of the federal government's Tune Review. It has looked in part at where Archives storage would be best located. Attorney General Christian Porter is currently considering the report.
Mayor Bob Kirk said the council would like to see a positive result after all the "time, effort and money put in" to pursuing the storage facility.
"We can't add anything more to it at this stage. It is all in their hands," he said.
Meantime, he told The Post that Goulburn's growth prospects were better than many, given the wider coronavirus impact.
Residential DAs had increased by 50pc in the first half of 2020, compared to the previous year and Goulburn Mulwaree had grown at an average one per cent per annum for the past 10 years.
"I'd rather be in Goulburn than many other places in terms of facing the future," he said.
"...I'm very happy to be on council going through this positive period."
We care about what you think. Have your say in the form below and if you love local news don't forget to subscribe