Warwick Farm Horse Racing Precinct – Proposed Access Road Update

Clr Peter Harle

Councillor Peter Harle

By Councillor Peter Harle

At the Council Meeting of the 25th of February 2014, I proposed a Notice Of Motion (NOM 05) that intended to use the “Iconic Building Fund Reserve” as a funding source for a proposed access Road to the Industrial Area at the rear of the Warwick Farm Racing Precinct.

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Council Agenda Document here:
http://www.liverpool.nsw.gov.au/trim/documents?RecordNumber=037061.2014

Council Minutes (Results) here:
http://www.liverpool.nsw.gov.au/trim/documents?RecordNumber=045062.2014

Extract of Council Minutes:
Motion: Moved: Clr Hadchiti  Seconded: Clr Harle

That Council:
Commits its support to building a bypass road at Warwick Farm.
Sets aside funds from various Council Reserves and from the 2014/15 budget to construct a bypass road in Warwick Farm.

  1. Prepares detailed plans for tender for the construction of this road.
  2. Writes to the relevant land owners which may be affected by the construction of this road with the intention to facilitate the construction of the road.
  3. Consults with the Warwick Farm Steering Committee on the above four points.

To date the access road project has not advanced beyond preliminary plans and cost estimates. The primary reason is that there is no funding source allocated for the proposed access road which is estimated to cost $6M. Council cannot legally issue a public tender notice without a dedicated funding source.

Council currently has around $6.7M in an “Iconic Building Reserve Fund” generated by the sale of Council’s previous Administration site. That money has been deposited into this reserve gathering interest until Council decides on its use for an “Iconic Building”, in the future.

It was my intention to allocate those funds to ensure that the Warwick Farm Access Road Project could proceed, irrespective of whether those funds would actually be used to build the road; it merely serves as an identifiable source that could be used to ensure the progress of the project.

At the Council meeting referred to above, Councillor Hadchiti (Liberal) proposed a new motion on the basis that instead of using the dedicated “Iconic Building Fund Reserve” referred to in my motion, alternate funding sources would be used. As per the extract of Council Minutes above,  I agreed with those proposals, seconded the new Motion and supported it as did the majority of Councillors. That was also witnessed by 15 Warwick Farm Racing Precinct supporters seated in the gallery.

However, the actual funding sources are yet to be determined and need to be included in the budget for 2014-2015, to allow the project to progress.

There are several issues including land acquisition and environmental concerns that need to be addressed before the project can proceed. For the most part that process could take up to twelve months.

In addition, the Warwick Farm Steering Committee, which I initially proposed, may also be able to raise additional funding sources, including voluntary contributions from commercial operators in the Warwick Farm Industrial area, the ATC and various Government and Semi Government bodies associated with the Horse Racing Industry. The combined resources of these sources should reduce the overall cost contribution that Liverpool Council and its ratepayers need to contribute to ensure the viability of the access road.

It is hoped that the majority of Councillors of which the Liberal Party has six, will honour their commitment to this project and finalise a chapter in the history of the Warwick Farm Racing Precinct that has taken since 1986 to reach this point.

Media articles here:

http://www.liverpoolchampion.com.au/story/2126798/warwick-farm-road-plans-are-on-track/?cs=2095

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1 Response to Warwick Farm Horse Racing Precinct – Proposed Access Road Update

  1. Peter Harle says:

    Update: The member for Liverpool, MP Paul Lynch, has criticised Liverpool Councils commitment to build a much needed safe access road to the Industrial area at Warwick Farm, via the rear of Rosedale Oval, rather than build/repair roads in the Middelton Grange Estate.
    MP Paul Lynch was an Alderman/Councillor of Liverpool Council from 1987-1995, during that period, he and his majority Councillor Colleagues did nothing to address the Warwick Farm Horse Racing precinct’s increasing traffic problems.
    His statements of the 6th of March 2014 as recorded in Hansard and initially posted but later removed and re-posted on the 13th of March are here: https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/Hansard/Pages/HansardResult.aspx#/docid/HANSARD-1323879322-76130/link/7

    In relation to the issues raised, there are many new developments taking place in the Middelton Grange Estate area, however, it is the developers that are responsible for upgrading and or building new roads, not Council. State Government legislation places stringent conditions on the use of developer contributions (AKA Section 94 funds). These conditions prevent upgrading existing roads prior to funds being collected. Generally, if fragmented development takes place, due to multiple landowners, as it has for Middleton Grange, it is not unusual to have only half of a road rebuilt while waiting for the owner of the property on the other side of the road to start their development. In such a case Council is obliged to ensure the existing road is maintained at a reasonable standard. Council cannot construct/rebuild the undeveloped side of the road before development (for that side of the road) takes place, unfortunately that is the law at present.
    MP Paul Lynch should be aware of these limitations, but rather than criticize, it would be far more constructive if he were to direct his efforts to modify the existing Legislation governing S94 funding. Changes are needed to allow greater flexibility so that these problems can be avoided in future fragmented developments.

    Reference (in Hansard) is made to Elizabeth Hills and Cecil Hills, both areas were developed by major developers (Landcom and Mirvac). The areas did not suffer fragmented development. Meaning all roads and amenities were built at the same time, unlike Middleton Grange where multiple landowners are continuing to develop their estates, hence the current uncoordinated road and amenities construction.

    Interesting comments regarding Rosedale Oval and its funding. An extraordinary amount of money has and is being spent on this “premier facility”, I wonder why?

    Unfortunately Parliamentary Privilege is often used to discoulor the full facts by those willing to abuse the truth in order to gain political support.

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