THE $5.4 million redevelopment of Leongatha’s Bair Street will go ahead from as early as July 1 this year after the Federal Government made a grant of $2.7 million available in Round 3 of its Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF).
The South Gippsland Shire Council will stump up the rest, notwithstanding the fact that it also has an application in for $1.5 million from the State Government’s Fixing Country Roads fund.
The funding was announced by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack last Saturday as part of $204.3 million to 330 projects across Australia.
Also receiving a boost was the National Vietnam Veterans Museum, $42,500, towards a $106,800 training room, Wonthaggi Pony Club $42,500 towards $85,000 canteen, Woolamai SLSC $20,000 ($40,000), and the Koo Wee Rup football and cricket clubs, $1,208,000, for $2,416,000 pavilion.
“These projects will help build local economies and drive job creation, with more than 13,000 jobs to be supported throughout regional Australia, delivering career pathways and enabling people to stay in the communities they grew up in,” Mr McCormack said.
However, while the Bair Street project is a potential game-changer for Leongatha, neither the local shire nor the Federal MP Russell Broadbent was commenting on the announcement this week.
Leongatha Business Association President, Brenton Williams, who had complained last week that in-fighting on the council had stopped them securing grant money for the Bair Street and railyards projects acknowledged it as great news for the local community.
But he said the “crisis in confidence” within the community continued and so would this Thursday’s public meeting.
More details inside.