Glenelg Shires presents $50m projects wish-list to Premier

A WISH-LIST of projects in Glenelg Shire worth $50 million will be handed to Premier Denis Napthine tomorrow. 

The council is hoping to kickstart up to 10 projects — most of them related to infrastructure. 

Among the costliest is the council’s aim to convert ageing landfills to transfer stations, with an estimated price tag of $22 million. 

The shire is also seeking more than $7 million to carry out the Green Triangle Freight Action Plan — now more than five years old.

On Tuesday councillors voted on their top three to include: 

* the Portland geothermal system redevelopment, $3.25 million; 

* Portland foreshore projects, $3 million; and

* a Casterton kelpie interpretive centre, $2.5 million. 

Glenelg Shire mayor John Northcott said the geothermal redevelopment was the most achievable of the projects and had the potential to slash the council’s power bill in Portland. 

“It would probably pay for itself over 10 years,” Cr Northcott said.

For nearly 20 years a bore in Henty Park pumped hot water to the surface, heating public buildings in the CBD. 

The system was shut down in 2006 as it neared structural collapse. 

Glenelg Shire has held talks this year with the aim of rebooting it. “There’s still a few hurdles we need to get through,” Cr Northcott said. 

Another $5.75 million is being sought to upgrade the Portland airport and Casterton airstrip, with council saying its far south-west location makes it more reliant on air transport.

“The investment in the Casterton airfield will enhance the region’s firefighting capacity and improve air ambulance access,” the report says. 

“Much-needed upgrades to airports at Portland and Casterton will bring these facilities up to current standards, allowing for all-weather and low-visibility operations by fixed-wing and rotary aircraft.”

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