More than $19 million in developments were approved in 2017 to the end of November, and predictions are the boost in local infrastructure investment will continue into the first half of 2018.
While conceding the figures had been boosted through large one-off government grants, Edward River Council Mayor Norm Brennan said it was still encouraging.
Council’s 2017 summary to the end of November shows development applications totalling more than $1 million in seven of the 11 months.
The largest were in October and November at $3,171,654 and $4,456,450 respectively.
The developments approved and started in those months include expansion projects for Navorina Nursing Home ($495,000 from the Murray Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Programme) and the Deniliquin Children’s Centre ($500,000 from council’s Stronger Communities Major Projects program and $750,000 from the Diversification Programme). It also includes the ongoing creation of a transport heritage museum in Hardinge St.
‘‘With more of the Stronger Communities Major Projects development applications yet to be submitted, and other developments being progressed, we’re anticipating this boost will continue tracking into next year,’’ Cr Brennan said.
‘‘While the Stronger Communities and Basin diversification funding make up large parts of the 2017 result, they have been, and will continue to be, the impetus for other future developments.
‘‘This development result is raising some heads, in a positive way, and letting people know the Edward River Council region is not such a bad place to be.’’
Council was awarded $10 million for community infrastructure projects when it was formed through the merger of the former Deniliquin and Conargo Shire Councils. Just over $1 million was allocated to smaller community projects, with the remaining $8.6 million allocated for the Major Projects program.
Another $3 million for infrastructure projects was allocated through the diversification programme, designed to assist with job creation and economic development in towns affected by the Murray-Darling Basin Plan water reform.
Other big development months this year included July ($2,721,000), May ($1,853,315), September ($1,625,621), February ($1,121,555) and August ($1,099,213). January and April were both almost $1 million.
The 12 month value of development applications approved for the Edward River Council area in 2016 totalled just $6.3 million.
Deniliquin Business Chamber president Justine Keech said the bonus of the development investment is the boost to business, employment and the economy overall.
‘‘It has been a long time since there was such buoyancy in the community, and the economy is also extremely buoyant,’’ Mrs Keech said.
‘‘Combined with the council amalgamation and all it has brought with it, there’s a really good vibe in Deniliquin and district at the moment.
‘‘The flow on effects are everywhere, and it’s heartening to see what is happening.
‘‘And it’s not just grant money, there are a number of businesses who have made investments to expand their businesses, and make a commitment to Deniliquin and its future.
‘‘We’ve had a sensational 12 months and it’s wonderful to look around and see the amount of development going on.’’