Image courtesy of the Illawarra Mercury

The Shellharbour council came to a unanimous decision last night after it approved a $3 million proposal to fix local roads.

The proposal will now be passed on to await approval from the NSW State Government under the Infrastructure Renewal Scheme.

“The loan we are hoping to receive off the government will be a 10 year loan with a very small interest rate of 4%,” said Mayor of Shellharbour Kellie Marsh.

Some specific target areas to be fixed are outlined in the council’s proposal, however Mayor Kellie Marsh has said that council will take a broad approach when coming to a decision on which areas are to be first on the list.

“We are taking a holistic approach to the road management and not just focusing on any one specific area.”

The approval of the loan will bring the city of Shellharbour into debt for the first time. However Mayor Marsh has little concerns of any repayment problems and rising rates.

“I can assure you it is certainly not in my repertoire to look at raising rates.”

Mayor Marsh discussed the benefits of a long-term loan with a low interest rate being a “financially responsible” move by the local council, as it creates realistic payment goals.

Councilor John Murray of the Shellharbour Council is a strong advocate of the plan, stating it was one of the easier proposals to gain support.

“It was easy in my mind. During the election process you get a lot of feed back from residents and one of the things that really tick them off [are] the state of some of their local roads,” Councilor Murray said.

The State Government is expected to make a final decision on the loan within the next 6 weeks.

Words: Mylee Rose Hogan
Video: Lorraine Hudson
Photos: Courtney Howe

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