p style=”text-align: justify”>Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King has called on the Victorian Liberal Government to overturn its decision to not support the future development of flood-ravaged Creswick Bowling Club.
Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King has called on the Victorian Liberal Government to overturn its decision to not support the future development of flood-ravaged Creswick Bowling Club.
Catherine King said the option remains available, for Creswick Bowls Club to obtain funding from the National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), but it requires urgent action by the State Government and time is running out.
Ms King has written to the State Minister for Police and Emergency, Kim Wells, urging him to make application for the funding under the ‘special consideration’ provisions of the NDRRA.
Federal Minister for Emergency Services, Mark Dreyfus QC, indicated in a letter to Ms King that following the Victorian Liberal Government’s decision to deem this project ineligible, it must now apply for ‘special consideration’.
The Creswick Bowling Club was hit by floods in late 2010 and early 2011 and has been seeking funds to move from its present location near Creswick Creek to the Doug Lindsay Reserve.
“Under the NDRRA arrangements, the Commonwealth is unable to enter into a cost-sharing arrangement if a State Government deems a project ineligible. The only option left is for the State Government to apply for special circumstances funding,” Ms King said.
Ms King said she has been lobbying to keep this project under consideration. It has been more than two years since the floods and action was needed from the State Government quickly.
“Hepburn Shire Council, (which is applying for the necessary funding on behalf of the Bowling Club) is seeking to commence construction as soon as possible and, with a construction period of at least 12 months, it is crucial this project receives urgent attention and a commitment under the NDRRA,” Ms King said in her letter to Mr Wells.
“The club has served as an important community asset, ensuring the active fitness of many seniors across Creswick. It has also helped break down the social isolation that can exist among older Australians.
“The club also serves as an important community hub for local gatherings and meetings and is clearly a not-for-profit community club.
“I seek your support to ensure funding is delivered under the NDRRA and that that the Victorian Government formally request special consideration from the Commonwealth Minister for Emergency Management,” the letter concludes.
Ms King said the future of the club is in Mr Wells’ hands and, unless he acted now, there is unfortunately little the Commonwealth can do.