Aquatic Centre Funding a Reward for Making Mayo Marginal

21 Jul 2020

Posted June 02, 2018

Local candidate for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie says the Federal Government’s $10M promise for an aquatic centre for Mount Barker is wonderful news for the community and demonstrates just what can be leveraged when an electorate is marginal and held by an independent.

“The announcement for Mount Barker is fantastic news for the region and something I have tirelessly advocated for on behalf of our community and the Mount Barker Council which desperately needs access to funds to meet the demands of a growing region,” Rebekha said.

“The Council put in their application for Building Better Regions funding in February this year with my formal letter of support.

“I have a feeling this will be the first of many promises made for Mayo in this election campaign and it just goes to show that when a seat is held by an independent from a minor party, it gets the attention of Government.

“I’d like to point out that government election promises can still be delivered if an independent or third-party candidate wins.

“I made sure ALL election promises from 2016 were delivered, and I will do the same again.”

Rebekha said today’s announcement also vindicates her fight to include the Mount Barker and other parts of the Adelaide Hills in the Building Better Regions Fund.

Until late last year, most of the Hills was excluded from applying for the fund because the area was considered to be too close to Adelaide to be regional.

As the Federal Member for Mayo, Rebekha raised the issue in Parliament and tirelessly lobbied the then Regional Development Minister Senator Fiona Nash to convince her that the Fund’s criteria were unfair.

“It was completely ridiculous that projects on the Gold Coast, Geelong and even Wollongong could successfully apply for Building Better Regions funding, even though they are nationally defined Major Cities but the Mount Barker Council and parts of the Adelaide Hills and Onkaparinga Councils could not,” Rebekha said.

“I then lobbied Minister Nash and I met with her twice to discuss the concerns expressed to me by Regional Development Australia Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island and our local councils had about the unfairness of the boundaries.

“We were delighted when the Government announced the Fund’s boundary changes in late 2017 for Round 2 of the Fund and I was pleased to write a formal letter of support for the Mount Barker Council for its aquatic centre application, lodged in February.

“I also wrote further letters of support for other Building Better Regions projects proposed in Mayo.

“I call on the Government to approve the funding for the other worthy projects in Mayo, including the redevelopment of the Willunga Recreation Park.

“And I encourage our community to apply for funding in Round 3 of the Fund following the 2018/19 Budget announcement of a further $206.5 million commitment to this program.”

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