Library and bridge funding dashed by the Feds
Hindmarsh Shire Council plans to build a Dimboola Civic Hub and the replacement of the Albacutya Bridge have been put in jeopardy after failing to receive matching federal government funding to the promised state funding from the Building Better Regions Fund.
Hindmarsh Shire Council has also since been advised that the federal funding for the Albacutya Bridge was also unsuccessful, and hence will not proceed at this stage.
These funds were to match both council and promised state funding which will place both projects on the ‘back burner.’
Senator The Hon Fiona Nash, Minister for Regional Development, apparently notified the Hindmarsh Shire Council last Friday that it was unsuccessful in its application for a Building Better Regions Fund grant to build the Dimboola Civic Hub, that was to include a new library.
Member for Mallee Andrew Broad office informed the Banner that, “Hindmarsh Shire Council put forward an application for a Dimboola Civic Hub, and from our understanding they were unsuccessful in their application on this occasion.”
“We believe Minister Nash’s office notified all successful and unsuccessful applicants on Friday,” said a spokesperson from Mr Broad’s office.
Council had hoped to build the Hub in the 2017/18 budget with funding from the state government ‘Living Libraries’ funding and ‘Building Better Regions’ fund from the federal government.
Hindmarsh Mayor Councilor Debra Nelson said, “the Dimboola Civic Hub will not be able to go ahead without this support from the federal government.”
“To my knowledge we have not been officially notified that the were unsuccessful,” said Cr Nelson on Monday.
“Council had set aside $200,00 in the 2017/18 budget to complete the project and a further $500,000 was expected from the Living Libraries. The balance was reliant on council success of obtaining federal government support from the Building Better Regions fund,” she said.
The project was expected to cost $1.6 million, that would see an ultra modern building to house the library and a council business hub, at the rear of the Old Shire Offices.
Cr Nelson also advised the Banner that their application from the federal government for funds to build the $3 million Albacutya Bridge were also unsuccessful.
Last week the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced $500,000 towards the bridge while in the Wimmera.
Hindmarsh Shire Council had arranged a ‘sinking fund’ to contribute to the bridge replacement and had set aside $500,000 in the 2016/17 budget and a further $325,000 for the 2017/18 budget.
The 100 year old bridge has a minimal load limit placed on it after engineers advised council that the bridge needed replacing in 2016.