Wagga Wagga rejects new ECEC build as community calls for places
The Sector > Economics > Affordability & Accessibility > Wagga Wagga latest regional community to speak out about challenges of access to ECEC

Wagga Wagga latest regional community to speak out about challenges of access to ECEC

by Freya Lucas

May 17, 2023

Wagga Wagga City Council has turned down development proposals for two separate early childhood centres in the past 15 months despite surging demand for care from locals, coverage in the ABC has noted


Parent Holli Walsh is one of the many local parents who is seeking a return to work following parental leave, a move which has been halted because of a lack of spaces for son Edward. 


Despite placing Edward’s name on waiting lists while still pregnant, there has been no spaces, leaving her concerned that the will not be able to recommence her career. 


There is a tension in the community between the needs of parents and the desire of locals to protect neighbourhoods from concerns about parking, noise and traffic. Each of the two proposals knocked back were done so after mounting opposition from neighbours.


In relation to the most recent proposal, concerning a two storey development at Turvey Park, in the city’s centre, more than 45 submissions were received in opposition to the service, most from neighbouring residents, who opposed the development and argued it would cause increased traffic and noise.


During the meeting, the ABC reports, resident Anne Wild said the modern building proposed for the centre wouldn’t suit the character of the area.


“The objection is not a case of ‘not in our neighbourhood’…the proposed site is a very unsuitable location,” Ms Wild said.


Councillors debated for nearly two hours, but ultimately rejected the proposal due to the concerns. Despite the recent experiences of developers, Council’s general manager Peter Thompson believes would-be service owners will not be deterred from future applications. 


“Whenever there’s demand for childcare in the area there will be developers that want to cater to that demand,” Mr Thompson told the ABC.


“We would embrace…any developer that would like to establish new childcare centres within the city. But they need to go through a planning process and at the end of that planning process they need to obtain a development consent.”


To access the original coverage of this story, please see here

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