Residents of Bacchus Marsh and the wider Moorabool Shire have missed an opportunity to apply for funding after the State Government failed to signal support of a proposed new indoor pool, Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King said today.
The pool proposal of Moorabool Shire was under consideration for funding in the latest round of the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF).
“Despite words of support from State Liberal Members and the Federal Liberal Candidate, they have done a complete belly flop by failing to back up their words with the necessary action,” Ms King said.
To be considered for funding under the RDAF, a project has to have confirmed funding support from other sources, and there was unfortunately no commitment from the Victorian Government.
The Victorian Government refused to provide supporting documentation for the new Bacchus Marsh pool. This supporting documentation would have enabled the project to progress to the next stage of the RDAF process.
“This simply meant that the people prioritising projects in our region under the latest RDAF round could not even assess the Bacchus Marsh pool project.
"At a Bacchus Marsh public meeting in December last year regarding the pool – which I attended – the Victorian Liberal Government representative, Simon Ramsay, and Federal Liberal Candidate for Ballarat, indicated their support for this project.
The Federal Liberal Candidate stated in The Courier on 1 December 2012:
• “To be honest, I am surprised that this project still hasn’t been funded after all this time”
“Unfortunately, despite all the rhetoric coming from various Liberal representatives around the region, they failed to act to ensure that this vital project for Bacchus Marsh and the region was given appropriate priority status within the State Government,” Ms King said.
“Failure of the State Government to show support has effectively denied Bacchus Marsh residents the opportunity to compete for this round of Federal funding.
RDAF guidelines clearly state –
• Partner funding must be ready to flow from the time that the Funding Agreement between the applicant and the Australian Government is signed.
Ms King said she knows how important this project is for the people of Bacchus Marsh and the wider Moorabool Shire and they are entitled to feel devastated by this State Government bungle.
“While I could have no influence on the final decision on an RDAF project, I have given this pool my support because I know how strong the case for this project is," Ms King said.
“The proponents and supporters of this project have been seriously let down in the end by their Liberal representatives, who built up the community’s hopes, only to have them dashed.
“I will continue to champion this project for the local community and look for opportunities for funding when they arise”, Ms King said.