$2.78m boost buoys boating

THE boating community will enjoy the ripple effect that $2.78 million will have when state coffers to that amount are dispersed among 25 key boating projects on the North Coast including three in the Clarence which will soak up $900,000 from that funding pie.

The work is part of the NSW Government's $37.5 million Boating Now program that funds almost 200 priority projects across the state.

Minister for Roads and Freight and the North Coast Duncan Gay and Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis made the announcement on Friday, Minister Gay saying the NSW Government would provide about $1.1million across the Clarence to deliver accessible, modern and safe boating infrastructure where it is needed most.

In the Clarence area, this includes an allocation of around $300,000 towards an upgrade to the Brushgrove-Cowper boat ramp and parking near Wingfield Bridge, around $150,000 to improve boating facilities at McLachlan Park, Maclean, and $150,000 to upgrade the Iluka jetty.

Other projects in the Clarence, Ballina, Tweed, Lismore region include upgrades to boating infrastructure such as boat ramps and adjacent boat trailer parking facilities, as well as jetties and pontoons.

"The priority projects for Clarence will improve access for a range of boaters including those using canoes and other forms of paddlecraft," Minister Gay said. Mr Gulaptis said this was about giving Clarence boaties what they need which was better quality facilities and continual improvements in safety and accessibility.

"As the popularity of boating in the Clarence continues to increase each year we need to act now to ensure the prosperity of boating in this region," Mr Gulaptis said.

"Throughout the process, we've worked closely with everyday boaters, councils, local sporting organisations and other key community groups so we could identify what the key issues are in each region.

"Thanks to the feedback received from our stakeholders, I'm confident that we now have some great plans to work with that are tailored to meet the needs of boaters in Clarence."

The NSW Government will now work with each council and other delivery partners to finalise the scope of each project, including funding contributions and timeframes.

All projects in Clarence will be delivered by the end of 2017. A further $10 million has been allocated for a second round of priority projects across the State that will be considered from 2017 onwards.

Projects funded under Boating Now in Clarence:

 Further support for improvements to boating facilities at McLachlan Park, Maclean

 Upgrade boat ramp and parking at Brushgrove-Cowper (off Wingfield Bridge)

 New pontoon at Flo Clarke Park, Lawrence

 Investigate access improvements for the Clarence River Canoe and Kayak Trail

 Investigate location for sewage pump-out in the upper Clarence River

 Boating access improvements in Yamba

 Upgrade Iluka jetty (Spencer St)



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