The state government election may be nine months away but the first election promise has been offered.
The Shadow Minister for Lands Mick Veitch and Country Labor candidate Martin Rush met with members of the Dungog Common Reserve Trust recently to commit $90,366 to build accessible toilet and shower facilities on the common.
Labor has prioritised the grant through the Public Reserves Management Fund.
“The funding will deliver new toilet and shower facilities which will be a boost to the volunteer-run trust and benefit all users of the common, from sporting events through to school groups,” said Mr Rush.
“I call on the Member for Upper Hunter to match this funding to deliver this important upgrade as soon as possible.”
Dungog Shire Councillor Kate Murphy who is on the Dungog Common Reserve Trust said the addition of toilets to the common would be a boon for users.
“The feedback we often receive from visitors is that they have come here with their family for a picnic but there are no toilets,” she said.
“It is a facility that people expect to find in such a spot.”
She said the facilities would mean an end to portable facilities hired for large events regularly held at the common.
The “basic style” facilities the trust is planning would be built on an area of the common which has access to town water and sewer.
The Trust has an ongoing schedule of planned work to improve the common and has had past success with Crown Lands grant applications such as $17,500 for fencing.
Mr Veitch said Community Trusts were “the heart and soul of the Crown Reserve System in NSW.”
“This is why Labor has no hesitation in committing $90,000 to help the Dungog Common and its volunteers improve facilities on public land,” he said.
Mr Veitch called on the Government to match the commitment to ensure the upgrade went ahead.
Events at the 242 hectare (600 acre) common include an annual mountain bike festival, a duathlon, Dash and Dawdle and cross country championships. It used daily by runners, for mountain biking and horse riding.