Her­itage project hangs on Bud­get

Albany Extra - - Extra News - Saskia Adysti

The Shire of Katan­ning is wait­ing for a for­mal re­sponse from Min­is­ter for Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Alan­nah MacTier­nan on whether the Katan­ning Her­itage Cen­tre Project has guar­an­teed fund­ing in the State Bud­get.

Katan­ning Shire chief ex­ec­u­tive Ju­lian Mur­phy said the Her­itage Cen­tre Project was never sub­ject to Bud­get fund­ing. But Ms MacTier­nan had asked the Shire to re­view the project ear­lier in July and find $3 mil­lion worth of sav­ings for it to con­tinue.

“We agreed that we will find $3 mil­lion in sav­ings for the State — which we have done af­ter a re­view of the project,” Mr Mur­phy said.

“We have made that sub­mis­sion to the min­is­ter and now we’re just wait­ing for a for­mal re­sponse.

“We’re con­fi­dent that the min­is­ter will give the ap­proval for the project.

“When she said that’s all she’s look­ing for, she will be true to her word and stick to that.”

The Her­itage Cen­tre Project in­volves two busi­ness cases that have been com­bined un­der one project.

It in­cludes the Wel­come Precinct Project to re­fur­bish the all-ages play­ground, as well as the Piesse Park Re­de­vel­op­ment Project to build new res­i­den­tial hous­ing around Piesse Lake. The to­tal project cost is es­ti­mated to be $16 mil­lion.

Mean­while, the big­gest project Katan­ning will miss out on will be the $21 mil­lion Great South­ern Hous­ing Ini­tia­tive Project that was al­lo­cated by the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment through Roy­al­ties for Re­gions, and which has of­fi­cially been scrapped from the State’s Bud­get. “Katan­ning was go­ing to be the lead Shire for that project and we’re go­ing to han­dle the fi­nances but we had con­fir­ma­tion to­day from the direc­tor of re­gional de­vel­op­ment that project won’t be go­ing ahead,” Mr Mur­phy said.

Great South­ern towns such as Katan­ning, Nar­ro­gin, Kulin, Wick­epin, Cuballing, Broome­hill-Tam­bellup, Cran­brook, Gnowangerup, Jer­ra­mungup, Kent, Ko­jonup and Ongerup will miss out on hous­ing projects that have al­ready re­ceived $10 mil­lion in fund­ing from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment.

Mem­ber for Roe Peter Run­dle was dis­ap­pointed with the out­come and said the McGowan Gov­ern­ment had cho­sen to fund Perth elec­tion promises and use Roy­al­ties for Re­gions to pay for reg­u­lar Gov­ern­ment ser­vices in the bush rather than keep­ing se­niors con­nected with their re­gional com­mu­ni­ties.

But Ms MacTier­nan said many Roy­al­ties for Re­gions-funded aged ac­com­mo­da­tion projects were funded in the last months of the for­mer gov­ern­ment and were not elec­tion promises.

“We will be un­der­tak­ing a sig­nif­i­cant re­view of aged ac­com­mo­da­tion projects right across re­gional WA and have al­lo­cated $22.7 mil­lion for a new aged ac­com­mo­da­tion pro­gram be­cause this project needs to be a rea­son­able ask on tax­pay­ers,” she said.

The 12 shires that were in­volved in the Great South­ern Hous­ing Ini­tia­tive Project will meet some time in the next week to dis­cuss op­tions un­der the new fund­ing.

The Katan­ning all-ages play­ground is part of the her­itage plan.

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