Blue Mountains News
Waiting for Liberals’ $1.3 Million Knapsack Park Funding
Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman and Blue Mountains Mayor, Mark Greenhill said the Morrison Government had made commitments to deliver the funding so that an existing plan to upgrade the Park could be fast-tracked, but that three months on, no funding had been forthcoming.
“During the Federal election campaign, Federal Labor and Liberal committed $1.3million to fast track a planned upgrade of Knapsack Oval carpark and club house,” Ms Templeman said.
“I wrote to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Michael McCormack in June, seeking assurances this and other funding commitments made by the Liberal candidate and Government representatives during the campaign, would be honoured.
“I received a reply this month which tells me that funding for various projects may not be delivered until as late at 2026,” Ms Templeman said.
“The clear impression given by the Liberal candidate’s media release was the funding would be made available so the project would “be completed in one go”.
“Fast forward to August 2019 and it’s a very different story coming from the Morrison Government.
“The letter from Minister McCormack gives no timeline for delivering the promised funding, other than to say it will be provided under the Community Development Grants Programme for projects that are scheduled for completion and final payment before 30 June 2026,” Ms Templeman said.
“It’s very disappointing for everyone involved because they were really expecting the upgrade to happen almost immediately.
Mayor Greenhill said he was yet to receive a response to a Mayoral Minute, also from June calling for the Government to provide the promised funds.
“The Club and community were led to believe that federal funding of $1.3 million would be made available so we could complete the upgrade sooner than if we were doing it under Council’s budgeted timeline,” Cr Greenhill said.
“Blue Mountains City Council allocated funds in its 2019/20 and 2020/21 budget to complete the work in two stages, but we were all led to believe the $1.3 million federal funding would be made available earlier so the project could be completed in one hit.
“We need a quick resolution on the funding arrangements so we can get on with this important project, within the timelines expected by the community. Right now the messages coming back from the Federal Government are unclear and this concerns me because the promise was that their commitment would fast track that which council had said it would fund.
“The carpark and clubhouse upgrades are shovel ready and can start almost immediately, if the $1.3 million is provided. If the Federal Government doesn’t make good on its promise, Council will still go ahead with the upgrade in two stages as planned.”
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