Lots of us hoped that things might be different under a Coalition government. No money for boondoggles, no more pork-barrelling, no more wasted taxpayer funds being spent on ridiculous projects in marginal electorate.
But a new swimming centre – sorry Aquatic Centre – in Victor Harbor, south of Adelaide, the funding of which Jamie Briggs had ruled out before the election, has no been given a federal kick-along with a grant of $7.5 million. TRULY PATHETIC, JAMIE. You were supposed to be one of the hopes of the side.
The centre, which is located in seaside Victor Harbor (swim in the sea, I say; there are already a number of pools there, including in the primary school) was to be partly funded from The Regional Development Fund, which was in turn to be funded from the proceeds of the MRRT.
Briggs quite rightly pointed out that since the MRRT has effectively raised no revenue, then the funding could not proceed.
In government, however, another source of funds has been found once the search for another hollow log succeeded – it’s called the Community Development Grant Program (just another name, Jamie, for the same rort).
The bigger issue is with all this talk of INFRASTRUCTURE, what we are about to witness is just a monumental waste of taxpayer money on politically popular and excessively expensive projects for which there have been inadequate assessments. Just a continuation of Albo, really, who ramped up infrastructure spending from 1 to 2 per cent of GDP.
Here’s the story:
In a backflip of the likes unseen since the Olympic diving competition, the Federal Liberal Government is committing $7.5 million for a pool at Hayborough.
Federal funding for the Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre has been in doubt since the September election, when Liberal Member for Mayo Jamie Briggs said the previous government’s $7.5 million offer for the project was a Labor promise.
But early Wednesday, December 4, the government announced it would honour the Regional Development Australia funds promised under the Labor Government.
Mr Briggs said under the Labor government, the funding was to come from the mining tax, which was not raising any revenue.
“Through responsible management of the budget, we have found additional funds for these uncontracted projects, without a mining tax,” Mr Briggs said.
“The funds have been committed through the Coalition’s Community Development Grants Programme, which was accounted for in our costings during the election campaign.
“Demand for such a facility has increased significantly as the population on the south coast has grown. A regional aquatic centre will accommodate this increasing demand, and be of great benefit to the community’s social and physical wellbeing.”
The Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre is proposed to have an eight lane, 25-metre lap swimming pool; a recreation and therapy pool; kiosk, change rooms; plant room; and car parking.
In March 2013, the project was estimated to cost $21 million. That figure was expected to be split between project partners the City of Victor Harbor and Alexandrina Council, and the federal government, with the latter coughing up $7.5 million for the project.