Developer fees waived for Porter Park centre

BALLINA Shire Council has agreed to waive about $30,000 in developer contribution fees for the controversial Aboriginal Child and Family Centre.

Construction of the $3 million facility at Porter Park at West Ballina started in October last year and work is almost finished.

But it was a controversial project, with many nearby residents complaining about its location.

The council has now resolved to waive the water and wastewater (sewer) Section 64 developer contribution charges.

The decision followed a request for the waiver from NSW Public Works on behalf of the Department of Family and Community Services.

General manager Paul Hickey said the fees would have totalled about $30,000.

There was a lot of debate between councillors about whether the fees should be waived, given the council had provided the land for the child and family centre.

"I think we have to follow through and show good manners and good grace in how we deal with this," Cr Keith Johnson said.

But Cr Sharon Cadwallader said the situation was another example of cost-shifting and placing further financial strain on local government.

"We have provided the land, we have agreed to a $1 lease," she said.

Cr Sue Meehan said the child and family centre was an important facility that would support Ballina's "most underprivileged community".

"I don't think this is the place to make a stand."

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