By ALEXANDRA LOKAN
Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone says the State Government’s decision to sell river front Crown Land is “long overdue” but a “win” for the community.
The Government announced on Monday it would sell the 1.6ha river front land – currently home to the Berri Bowling Club – to the Berri Barmera Council for $1.86 million.
That cost would be offset in part by a $687,000 State Government grant to help build new facilities for the bowling club at Glassey Park.
Mr Whetstone said he welcomed the news after advocating on behalf of the bowling club since his election to parliament in 2010.
“I welcome the announcement. It’s a long overdue announcement but we’ve got a bit more certainty for the Berri Bowling Club now,” he said.
“There’s 85 years of history down at the existing site and I’m sure that they will be buoyed with the journey they’re about to embark on with new rinks, a new bowling club and a new start to a new chapter.”
Mr Whetstone said he thought the Country Cabinet played a role in seeing the plan come to fruition.
“It sort of jolted them into gear,” he said.
“That meeting (at the Loxton Sporting Club late last month) was a catalyst for them to make a decision.
“It’s a great outcome for Berri and the bowling club and will also now open up opportunities to develop that piece of river front, which is not a pretty piece of real estate at the moment.
“It will allow people to be a part of a new development on the river.”
Mr Whetstone said the options were endless for the river front parcel of land which was now Berri Barmera Council’s responsibility to develop.
Berri Bowling Club’s members, along with council staff also deserved congratulations for their commitment to seeing the plan become a reality, Mr Whetstone said.
“I’m happy to take it as a ‘win’ and I’m happy to congratulate the perseverance of the members of the bowling club and the council,” he said.
“Because it has been a long process to get to where we are today.”
By ALEXANDRA LOKAN