On December 19, 2014, Phillip Island Aquatic Centre Fund’s (PIACF) application to the Australian Sports Foundation (ASF) to set up a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Fund was accepted.
That means we have a grant agreement in place with ASF for donations from individuals, corporates and philanthropic bodies to be deposited in an ASF Fund.
That fund conforms to Australian Taxation Office requirements, enabling donors to claim such donations as tax deductions. In other words, we have an operating DGR Fund in place.
To donate to the fund, donors simply need to go to http://asf.org.au/donate/?projectID=3460 Phillip Island Aquatic Centre Project and follow the prompts.
Or you can contact the PIACF secretary for a donation application form, which you will need to return to the secretary for processing.
I am sure all of you will recall our current suggested location for the Phillip Island Aquatic Centre (adjacent to the current Cowes Recreation Centre) and a suggested design which was published in the Advertiser in October 2014.
But, at present three locations are still being considered by a council-run working group – the Cowes Recreation Reserve site; in many years’ time the Hilton Chadwick Reserve site, corner of Ventnor Rd-Rhyll Road and Thompson Avenue; and on a parcel of Newhaven College Land, on the Phillip Island Tourist Road.
Obviously, we have waited over 20 years to finalise the location and begin building the Phillip Island Aquatic Centre. With the latest news from the ASF about the tax-deductible fund, we believe that now is the time for action.
This latest news is an excellent way to get our Aquatic Centre back on track.
Now all we have to do in the short term is to obtain agreement from the council as to its location and design.
You should all be aware that in May last year, the council passed a motion proposing the establishment of a Phillip Island Aquatic Working Group (of which PIACFI would be a member), meeting every three months to decide the location, timing of building and funding issues for presentation to the June 2015 Council meeting.
Sadly, the council has convened only one meeting of the working group in the eight months since its May 2014 decision.
PIACF will work constructively with the Council Working Group to help in the decision making process.
But, we believe that the feasibility studies carried out over the past few years, for both the Wonthaggi Centre redevelopment and the proposed Phillip Island Centre, clearly give the Phillip Island Centre a much stronger claim to its viability.
Those studies outline a much greater revenue base for the first five years of its operation, compared to only minor increases in revenue that would result from a very expensive redevelopment of the Wonthaggi centre.
Regardless of where the Phillip Island Aquatic Centre is to be built, all three levels of government will need to contribute (even if sited on Newhaven Land).
We continue to advocate for the Phillip Island Aquatic Centre to be built first (at an estimated total cost of about $10 million) before any redevelopment of the Wonthaggi centre (conservatively estimated at $15+ million) goes ahead.
What our action is designed to do, in part, is to lower the financial burden on Bass Coast Shire ratepayers.
Any individual, company or philanthropic organisation is welcome to donate to the ASF Fund.
The quicker we can add to our existing funds, the quicker we will be in a position to build.
All previous donations and funding and expenses are fully accounted for.
I request anyone wishing and able to financially support our project, to give serious consideration to the issue and do so.
I would be happy to answer any queries that potential donors may have.
Peter McMahon, secretary, PIAFC Inc.