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Council may opt for loan to get around knock-back

FUNDING OPTIONS: Artist’s impression of stage two of Robelle Domain In Springfield.
FUNDING OPTIONS: Artist’s impression of stage two of Robelle Domain In Springfield. Contributed

IPSWICH City Council will consider taking out a bank loan of $5 million to get stage two of the Robelle Domain project funded in 2013.

The $15 million project includes water cascades between Sinnathamby Bvd and John Nugent Way, a squirt water area, picnic areas and children's play areas. But the funding for the project is yet to be secured with the Federal Government committing $5 million, the Ipswich City Council $5 million and the shortfall yet to be confirmed.

Cr David Morrison said the council applied for $2.5 million in the 2012 financial year under the Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program with a view to applying for a further $2.5 million the following year.

Local Government Minister David Crisafulli toured the site last year and Cr Morrison said he was "very impressed with the project". But Mr Crisafulli informed council before Christmas that the funding request had been denied.

Cr Morrison has confirmed that "our next plan is to write to the State Government to ask if we can borrow the $5 million on the undertaking that the state pay it back over two financial years".

"But we will only borrow on the undertaking that the State Government is willing to pay it back over two years," Cr Morrison said.

"We wouldn't borrow for the ratepayers of Ipswich to pay back another $5 million. I doubt that council would approve that because we have had to cut $8 million out of existing savings."

"We wouldn't borrow for the ratepayers of Ipswich to pay back another $5 million. I doubt that council would approve that because we have had to cut $8 million out of existing savings."

Federal Member for Blair, Shayne Neumann, has said that the project must go ahead as a $15 million project. He was responding to a suggestion in Saturday's QT that council may consider "cutting the cloth" and build a park for $10 million.

"The Ipswich City Council has told the Federal Government that they could come up with $10 million towards a $15 million project. That is the basis that we gave them the money," he said.

"The mayor has made it clear to Federal Local Government Minister Simon Crean and the council made it crystal clear in the application.

"The council has been knocked back by the LNP and the council has used that as an excuse to procrastinate on the project. They need to get on with the job and do it."

"The council has been knocked back by the LNP and the council has used that as an excuse to procrastinate on the project. They need to get on with the job and do it."

Cr Morrison said the council's finances would not allow them to put in the shortfall. "I saw the application that we submitted and it had had

$5 million from the council, $5 million from the feds and $5 million from the state that was yet to be confirmed," he said.

"We certainly haven't discussed putting in an extra $5 million."

The State Government had more than $12.5 million to allocate to the subsidies program, but there wasn't enough in the coffers to grant every request.

Mr Crisafulli said there were "106 applications from 51 of the state's 73 councils worth a combined $40.1 million. The Ipswich bid was unsuccessful".

"But Ipswich was successful in a bid for $73,947 to install stream and rainfall gauges at locations within the Ipswich region," he said.

"Ipswich City Council will also get $110,000 each year under the GraffitiSTOP program to combat graffiti in the local area."

Topics:  david crisafulli david morrison ipswich city council robelle domain shayne neumann



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