Questions over revamp costs

A FORMER Liverpool mayor has criticised the current mayor's focus on the city's central business district.

Wendy Waller, Liverpool's first female mayor who is currently serving her third term on council, said she was concerned the council was not catering to the needs of the entire community.

But Liverpool mayor Ned Mannoun said a planned city revitalisation project would boost the economy and create a more functional and sustainable city.

Cr Waller and her Labor colleagues often vote against the decisions made by the ruling group on the council — the six Liberals led by Cr Mannoun.

"You have to wonder why they are putting all of their eggs in one basket," Cr Waller said.

"The majority of residents don't see the way the centre of Liverpool looks as a priority."

The Liberal councillors have championed the $15 million revitalisation project — called Building Our New City — which aims to modernise five parts of the city centre including Bigge Park, the health precinct and Macquarie Mall.

The project also aims to create a lively "eat street" around the southern end of the city, strengthen links to the Georges River and enhance the gateways into Liverpool.

But Cr Waller said there are other priorities the council should focus on.

"We have a severe infrastructure backlog and ageing assets.

"There are 800 kilometres of roads which need to be repaired.

"Why do we need to spend millions on revitalising the city centre, when many of our residents aren't using it?

"Most of the residents of the new suburbs will go to nearby hubs such as Leppington and Narellan."

Cr Mannoun said the city was undergoing an exciting transformation and most residents would be happy with the improvements.

He said the city's suburban residents would not be contributing to the revitalisation, because it would be paid for using the Town Improvement Fund.

"That fund comes from payments made by commercial property owners and property owners in the city centre.

"It is there to be spent on making things look better in the CBD.

"The council collects about $1.7 million every year and traditionally it has been spent on repaving, now we're coming up with a way of strategically using that funding to do more with it and consulting the community about what they want.

"It would be illegal to spend this money outside of the CBD.

"We've already spent a record amount of money on roads, more than $27 million last year."

Building Our New City workshops

Three sessions will be held to allow residents to share their ideas about the revitalisation with designers:

■ Monday, April 28, 6pm-9pm, Hilda M Davis Senior Citizens Centre, 185 Bigge Street, Liverpool.

■ Tuesday, April 29, 6pm-9pm, Bringelly Community Centre, 5 Greendale Road, Bringelly.

■ Wednesday, April 30, 6pm-9pm, Liverpool Catholic Club, corner Hoxton Park and Joadja roads, Hoxton Park.

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