Shire bridge extension request rejected

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

The Shire of Denmark’s request for a 12-month extension on $7.6 million funding for a new bridge, as part of the East Development Precinct, has been rejected by the Department of Regional Development.

The project, which involves the construction of a light industrial area east of Denmark, also comprises a second bridge to be built across Denmark River, west of the new industrial area.

At a council meeting in December the council voted down an officer recommendation to progress with a bridge at River Bend Lane.

Council instead passed a motion to suspend works on the western portion of the project and to write to the Department of Regional Development and Lands requesting a 12-month extension on that section of the DEDPP.

Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said that the Shire’s request had been rejected.

“The Department of Regional Development advised the Shire of Denmark… that it would not agree to the Shire’s request to vary the Financial Assistance Agreement and that the Shire was expected to meet the milestones it agreed to in accordance with the FAA.” he said

With the State government contributing $7.6 million to the $14 million project Mr Redman said the Shire would need to meet its next milestone to ensure the funding was not recalled.

“The next milestone for the project is due on March 31,” he said

“If the Shire meets its obligations under the agreement the funding will be secure, but if it doesn’t the State may seek to recover the funds.”

An electors meeting held on January 16 saw a series of motions moved relating to the project, including a request for the Shire to appeal the State government’s decision to reject the 12-month extension.

These motions will be heard at a special council meeting to be held next Monday at 5pm.

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