The next stage of the Airport Boulevard project is on the agenda at this week's Ballina Shire Council meeting.
The next stage of the Airport Boulevard project is on the agenda at this week's Ballina Shire Council meeting.

Next step for Ballina's $10M 'entry statement' project

PLANS for one of Ballina Shire Council's biggest projects is on the agenda at this week's meeting.

The construction of the Airport Boulevard "entry statement" road is the second part of the works to extend Boeing Ave to the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport and the connection to North Creek Road.

Bulk earthworks and major drainage works were completed in April.

Tenders have been called for the next stage and now the council is considering its next step.

According to the council's report, the 2020/21 budget allocation is currently $6.256 million with $57,000 expended to date.

Based on the recommended tender the total budget will need to increase to $10.74 million.

"To achieve this it will be necessary to increase the loan funding allocated to the project to $3,740,000 as there are no funds available in the Property Development Reserve," the council report states.

"The difficultly all along with Airport Boulevard is that typically Council would stage the construction of any roads as part of the Southern Cross Industrial Estate, based on the industrial land being opened up.

"Unfortunately, Airport Boulevard is an entry statement road, with the majority of the land being opened up, currently, not zoned for industrial purposes.

"This has resulted in a large outlay of funds, including $4m from the Property Development Reserve, without any offsetting land sale income.

"Nevertheless the project is a major part of the council planning for this precinct and as such it is important to finalise the project in full.

"By proceeding with this project it will be critical that council continue to effectively manage its overall loan debt for property development activities and there will be ongoing reports in respect to the timing and status of the Boeing Ave, Wollongbar Urban Expansion Area Stage 3, and Innovation Precinct projects.

"It is recommended that Council declines to accept any tenders and negotiate with Hazel Bros (QLD) Pty Ltd to finalise the total cost of the works.

"This recommendation will enable staff, prior to the issue of a letter of award, to resolve any outstanding points in the contract and review the final scope of works with the contractor, including some parts of the scope, such as the inground services at North Creek Road, which will benefit from some further design assessment with the contractor."