Shoalhaven News

Funding under threat as Bomaderry's park plans have gone to the dogs

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Plans to create a state of the art dog park in Bomaderry are under threat with a State Government grant about to expire due to delays in Shoalhaven Council.

Bomaderry Community Inc raised money in the local community to turn the disused Thurgate Oval into a dog park, and even had one of Australia's best-known dog park experts make an in-kind donation while designing the park.

But election candidate Serena Copley said nothing had happened since council took over the project five months ago.

And she said the most concerning aspect of council's inaction was that a State Government grant to help with the project was due to expire at the end of October, and while Bomaderry Community Inc could re-apply, the funding allocation was not certain.

"It's very disappointing for the community of Bomaderry who've worked very hard for the last two years to raise funds, secure grants, and even have in-kind donations of over $120,000 to make this a reality, but unfortunately the council came in, took over the project, and from that minute onwards nothing's happened," Ms Copley said.

That included months of not replying to emails or returning phone calls, she said as she compared council's actions to the large amount of work done in the Bomaderry community to get the project to the point where it needed only council approval.

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"Bomaderry Community Inc. has been tremendous in getting together community and local business support, as well as raising their own funds for this important project," Ms Copley said.

"It's important to note that this project has been driven by the community, for the community and I congratulate Kylie Knight and the Bomaderry Community Inc. group on their drive and determination to get this project delivered."

Bomaderry resident Geoff Knight accused the council of not only dragging its heels with the project, but also double dipping by charging management fees for staff members to do their jobs.

"The money has been donated, and the money has been granted, and now council want to charge Bomaderry Inc. management fees - why? They get paid to do their jobs, and it's all there, all they have to do is say yes and go ahead and do it," he said.

Images: Glenn Ellard, Bomaderry Community Inc

Tags: shoalhaven city council, Bomaderry Community Inc, dog park, Serena Copley