FUNDING BOOST FOR MELBOURNE’S GROWING SUBURBS

Eligible councils in Melbourne’s outer suburbs can expect more parks, town hubs and playgrounds, thanks to the Andrew Labor Government’s $50 million boost to the Growing Suburbs Fund.

Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green and Member for Eltham Vicki Ward welcomed the announcement this week that the State Government is helping councils in Melbourne’s outer suburbs build and upgrade the facilities they need.

The funding will be used to build sports pavilions, family and community centres and other local projects in Melbourne’s ten interface councils.

While encouraging Nillumbik Shire Council to submit their applications for the 2018-19 funding round, Ms Green and Ms Ward reminded council to work on delivering the many local projects that have already been funded in the previous funding rounds of the Growing Suburbs Fund.

To date, Nillumbik Shire has received a total of $16.2 million under the Growing Suburbs Fund, with this figure representing the fourth largest amount of the ten interface councils.

In the 2017 round of funding Nillumbik received $7.7 million – which was the second largest amount of the 10 councils – with $2.8 million allocated to build a new netball pavilion in Diamond Creek, $1.2 million for safe pedestrian rail crossing at the rear of Diamond Valley College to connect into a future Diamond Valley trail, and $800 000 for the pavilion at Eltham Central Park.

There was also $416, 000 allocated for female-friendly facilities at Marngrook Oval and $2.5 million for the Diamond Valley Sports and Fitness Centre Redevelopment.

Both Ms Green and Ms Ward have raised concerns with the Minister for Local Government Marlene Kairouz as only one of ten local projects funded in Nillumbik has been completed.

During a recent Parliamentary Adjournment Debate Ms Green requested that Local Government Victoria meet with Nillumbik Shire Council to seek progress on each of the projects funded through the Growing Suburbs Fund and look at council’s capacity to deliver on these projects.

Ms Green expressed concern that council had failed to check on Diamond Creek flood plain information before securing State Funds for the Diamond Creek Netball pavilion completely throwing into doubt whether any building is in fact possible.

Further Ms Green questioned why six months on from receiving $2.5 million to build new basketball courts at the Diamond Valley Sports and Fitness Centre, the Shire had failed even to produce professional drawings of the new courts.

Ms Ward during last week’s Budget Estimates Hearing asked the Minister for Local Government what percentage of projects each council had that remained incomplete and was disappointed to learn that only one of the 10 has been completed, the rest running behind schedule or not yet even begun.

The Labor Government established the Growing Suburbs Fund in 2015 and it has since supported 116 projects, 44 of which have been completed.

The ten eligible councils are Nillumbik, Whittlesea, Hume, Mitchell, Yarra Ranges, Mornington Peninsula, Cardinia, Casey, Melton and Wyndham.

Applications for the 2018-19 funding round are open until Monday, 9 July. For further application information visit localgovernment.vic.gov.au/grants/growing-suburbs-fund.

Quotes attributable to Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green

This budget boost to the Growing Suburbs Fund will mean that local families have the facilities and services they need close to home.

“While I encourage Nillumbik Shire Council to continue to apply for funding under the Growing Suburbs Fund I’m concerned that there has been little activity from council on projects already funded. How can future applications be funded if we are not sure council can even deliver on current projects?”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eltham Vicki Ward

“We encourage Nillumbik to look at projects that could be funded under the Growing Suburbs Fund, however, we do urge them to get on with the many local projects that have already been funded under the Growing Suburbs Fund grants which are falling behind.  Our community needs these long-waited for projects completed sooner rather than later.”