Shellharbour seeks City Hub grant

Councillors Kellie Marsh and Peter Moran oppose the City Hub plan.
Councillors Kellie Marsh and Peter Moran oppose the City Hub plan.

Shellharbour City Council will seek federal support for another of the city's big ticket items after two previous bids for funds for the Shell Cove boat harbour were overlooked.

The council will submit as yet undecided elements of the $55 million City Hub project to an upcoming round of the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF).

The hub - located close to Stocklands Shellharbour in the city centre - will include new council chambers, a museum, library, meeting rooms and more.

Councillors argued "you've got to be in it to win it" as the majority agreed to submit a package of foreshore upgrades to Round 3 of the RDAF and parts of the City Hub to Round 4.

Round 3 includes $50 million for projects in towns with populations under 30,000. Round 4 is worth $175 million for infrastructure projects, with projects with partnership contributions preferred.

Shellharbour's submissions were selected from a funding wish-list that included upgrades to the airport at Albion Park, accommodation at The Links golf course, and a streetscape bundle.

They will be reviewed by RDA Illawarra, which will select projects from the region to nominate for funding.

At last week's council meeting, general manager Michael Willis said the council had received feedback after its previous funding bids for Shell Cove.

"Given that the City Hub project ... is likely to be a contender not just for this round but I understand there's going to be a Round 5 as well, I don't see any reason why we wouldn't be doing it because if nothing else we'll learn something from the process to make our case stronger the next time," he said.

Councillor Peter Moran argued Shellharbour's population - about 63,600 - meant its Round 3 bid was unlikely to succeed.

He opposes the City Hub.

"I think we'd be much better leaving both of these projects out of it ... and asking council staff to come up with some projects to do some real good in the community, which have got a better chance of being funded because we can involve partnerships in them," Cr Moran said.


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