Fight for funds pays off for project

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
City of Albany deputy mayor Greg Stocks says $9 million in upgrades will modernise the Middleton Beach foreshore.
Camera IconCity of Albany deputy mayor Greg Stocks says $9 million in upgrades will modernise the Middleton Beach foreshore. Credit: Laurie Benson/Picture: Laurie Benson, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Development of the $9 million Middleton Beach beachfront renovations will begin within months after the City of Albany fought for and secured Federal Government funding.

The project, which is being funded by the Federal Government, LandCorp and the City of Albany, is necessary to progress the Middleton Beach hotel and shopping precinct redevelopment plan.

On August 28, the City council voted unanimously to accept $4.5 million from the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, which will complement about $2.5 million provided by LandCorp.

Albany ratepayers will fund the remaining $2 million.

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Artist’s impressions of the final development reveal a deck promenade linking Ellen Cove and the Albany Surf Life Saving Club, with improved access to the shore and footpaths circling the existing grassed area.

Deputy mayor Greg Stocks said the upgrades would not require any trees to be removed from the foreshore area, and would result in a “much more modern” looking waterfront.

“We aggressively went out for Federal Government money to make sure ratepayers weren’t paying for this,” he said.

“Seven out of $9 million is being paid for by LandCorp and the Federal Government — the $2 million from ratepayers out of $9 million dollars for something we have to do is a great result.”

LandCorp plans reveal without the development, rising sea levels were expected to swallow the existing embankment, flood the foreshore and turn existing sand dunes into islands within 100 years.

The plans said the underground seawall would prevent erosion, which would hold back the ocean from consuming the foreshore during the next century. The City could not say if the beach would be closed at any time during the redevelopment work.

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