Wollongong City Council will forge ahead with a $5.3 million plan to redevelop Bald Hill but will allocate just $100,000 in next year’s budget to advance the project.
At last night’s meeting, councillors unanimously voted to adopt the draft master plan for the Stanwell Tops lookout, but decided they would seek external funding to pay for the bulk of the site makeover.
Speaking at the meeting, Liberal Ward 1 councillor Leigh Colacino noted the redevelopment would cost ‘‘a lot of money’’ but said people should be excited that such a significant project was at the point where it could move forward.
He said the proposed $100,000 funding allocation in the 2013-2014 budget would ‘‘get the ball rolling’’ and believed there would be a number of external funding opportunities.
Cr Colacino said Regional Development Australia ‘‘looked to be enthusiastic’’ about the site.
The now accepted master plan will retain the hill’s original ‘‘bald’’ characteristics while improving access and tourist facilities.
Its features include reducing the height of the northern car park slope by up to two metres, widening Lady Wakehurst Drive, installing a roundabout entry to the lookout, building a southern car park, replacing the old toilet block and retaining the food van in an enlarged pedestrian plaza.
Extra bus parking is also proposed and the number of car parking spaces will be increased.
Several other councillors congratulated those involved with developing the master plan in consultation with the community, with Cr Janice Kershaw saying councillors should ‘‘rejoice’’ that they had reached this stage.
‘‘We have got to this stage after extensive consultation with the community,’’ she said.
‘‘Let’s start lobbying for money and move on with at least the $100,000 and be really supportive of what the community has achieved.’’