Duck Reach lookout approved by council

THE Launceston City Council has approved a cantilevered lookout to be built at Duck Reach despite doubts from some aldermen that the $227,000 structure will be fully funded by the state government.

The structure will be based off the Duck Reach walking track, about 20 minutes' walk from the Gorge's main entrance.

The council has had to divert from an open tender process, which would normally take seven weeks, and award the contract for the work to lookout designers Tangent Structures to meet a state government funding requirement that the structure be built by February.

Aldermen Hugh McKenzie and Jim Cox expressed concern over who would fund the project if the deadline was missed.

Launceston general manager Robert Dobrzynski, who had already signed a contract with the government for the funding, said he believed it would not be compromised if the delay was beyond the council's control. "It is my understanding that the money will be significantly outlaid before completion of the project," he said.

Mr Dobrzynski said the council would still need to cover costs if the project ran over budget.

The project is set to be completed at least a month before an anticipated state election.

The council yesterday agreed to offer land compulsorily acquired in 2008 from the Tasmanian Aboriginal Child Care Association for its flood levee project back to the association.

The association has 60 days to accept the 2715 square metres of land, valued at $325,000.

The land is needed to allow a $15 million hotel redevelopment of the Kings Wharf grain silos to progress.

If the association declines the land, the council will approach hotel developer Errol Stewart directly.

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