Council disappointed by Minister Neville’s announcement

Friday, 31 August 2018

Council is very disappointed with media reports of a statement made by Minister Lisa Neville yesterday regarding the State Government Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund project.

“Council was encouraged to apply for this funding by the State Government and did so,” said Borough of Queenscliffe Mayor, Cr Susan Salter.

This withdrawal of funds means that the community will miss out on enhanced facilities, including pathways, new public amenities, improved car parking and public park areas for which independent community consultation showed between 70% and 82% community support.

It is important to reinforce that this funding was not part of the National Stronger Regions Fund Destination Queenscliff project.

In a time when targeted social medial campaigns can be very persuasive, Council is bitterly disappointed in the level of false information that has been published and which has resulted in this decision.

Extensive recent community consultation resulted in high levels of support for this project. At its July 2018 Ordinary Meeting, Council made changes to key elements of the project to reflect community feedback received during the consultation phase.

Council has implemented a strong community engagement program over a number of years which consistently showed high levels of support for the project.

This community engagement has included multiple mail outs and emails to all the community, including businesses; a significant number of open house discussions; project bulletins; community workshops; extensive community surveys; and the establishment of a community reference group that supported this concept in 2014.

“While bitterly disappointed in the Minister’s decision, Council welcomes the commitment by Minister Neville to direct this funding to priority projects in the Borough and her guarantee to continue the ongoing independence of the Borough of Queenscliffe Council,” said Cr Salter.