CORANGAMITE federal member Sarah Henderson has accused Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville of creating “a real funding mess” that has jeopardised Queenscliff’s Destination Queenscliff projects.
Ms Henderson said Ms Neville had misled the Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale communities over a $2.5 million grant to the Queenscliff Cultural Hub project.
“On August 29, 2018, Lisa Neville announced that $2.5 million of a $2.695 million grant she provided last year to the Borough of Queenscliffe to fund a series of projects including an additional four cabins at the Queenscliff Recreational Reserve was being cancelled and re-directed to the Hub project,” Ms Henderson said. “However, this money has not been cancelled and re-directed because to do so would breach a funding agreement between council and the Victorian Government.
“Council has confirmed it has received only $1.65 million from the Victorian Government (comprising $1.2 million from the Community Infrastructure Fund and $450,000 from the Living Libraries fund announced separately by Lisa Neville) for the Hub, not $4.15 million as she claims.
“As a result of Lisa Neville making a funding promise she has not delivered, council does not have sufficient funding to apply for a federal grant under the Building Better Regions Fund which requires matching funding. The Hub project has an estimated cost of $5 million.”
In reply, Ms Neville said unlike Ms Henderson, she had always listened to, worked with and delivered for the community of Queenscliff.
“And the Queenscliff Hub is no exception,” Ms Neville said.
“The State Government has committed $4.15 million dollars and be in no doubt, it will be delivered.
“This funding will ensure a quality Community Hub that will provide a fantastic modern facility for the likes of the Queenscliff Library and the Historical Museum.
“In kick starting this project I will be chairing the first meeting of the Community Reference group later this month, a group that will ensure real and transparent input by locals.”
Ms Neville said contrary to Ms Henderson’s misleading and false statements, the state government was currently working with the Borough of Queenscliffe in making the necessary amendments to funding agreements. “We expect these legalities to be concluded very soon,” she said.
“I will leave it to Ms Henderson to justify to the community the Commonwealth funding for a development the community do not want.”