RECOMMENDED: Aerial view of the proposed plan Lismore Park.
RECOMMENDED: Aerial view of the proposed plan Lismore Park.

Lismore Park upgrade to get the nod

LISMORE City Council looks set to abandon its Lismore Gallery development proposal in the short-term, instead opting to invest its now guaranteed Commonwealth funding into a first stage development of Lismore Park.

Round 5 of the Regional Development Australia Fund will provide set funding to each council - calculated on a per capita basis - rather than choosing between competing applications as in the past.

Lismore will receive $436,455 for its nominated project, to be voted upon at an extraordinary meeting this Wednesday night.

Listing six possible projects, a staff report has recommended against the Lismore Gallery development - which would have transformed C Block behind Lismore City Library into a new exhibition and storage space - because the funding (now) on offer is insufficient.

"The available funding would only lead to a severely compromised gallery," the report stated.

Staff have instead recommended Council proceed with one of two options for the first stage of the Lismore Park master plan.

Option one features the naturalisation of Browns Creek between Brewster and Uralba St (from its current incarnation as a concrete canal), a corner entry plaza at the junction of Uralba and Brewster streets, picnic areas and park benches, and an educational wetland area and lookout.

Option two is to develop a proposed pedestrian boulevard between Uralba and Dawson streets, linking Lismore Square to the CBD via the park.

Under this option, the funds would be used for lighting and landscaping of the proposed walkway. Browns Creek could still be naturalised using Council's stormwater fund.

Mayor Jenny Dowell said she was "disappointed but understood" the staff recommendation to abandon the gallery for now, while emphasising the final decision would be made by council next Wednesday.

The Lismore Park master plan was more "stageable", Mayor Dowell said.

"I would like to think there will be significant funding opportunities (for the gallery) in the future."