FDBA Facility Expansion Statement (28/10/2017)
in response to Frankston City Council’s press release ‘Frankston Basketball stadium expansion project update’ (27/10/2017)
It is disappointing Frankston City Council did not seek the FDBA’s comment for their recent press release (‘Frankston Basketball stadium expansion project update’ 27/10/2017) which would have allowed a more balanced approach to updating residents on such an important community project which will rejuvenate Kananook Reserve and surrounding areas.
The FDBA believed it had a productive meeting with council officers last week and from this council would be formalizing an agreement reflecting terms negotiated in late June by the former federal member for Dunkley Bruce Billson.
The FDBA has previously publicly stated it is comfortable with the ‘Billson’ terms which was again conveyed recently to council officers who did not indicate at the time this was unreasonable or that the goal posts had shifted.
Statements the basketball stadium funding hangs in the balance is contrary to the advice the FDBA has received from government representatives. It would appear by using this type of language, council have adopted an alarmist approach which is counterproductive and only acts as bulldozing what the FDBA felt was an amicable process since agreement was reached in late June.
It is worth noting council are in a tenuous position regarding federal funding ($500,000) successfully applied for and received by council for preliminary works on the proposed safe harbor project. This council managed project has been delayed for various reasons with no resolution in sight and demonstrates the precarious position council find themselves in that any future major projects undertaken by council, including the planned $13m regional tennis centre, which is part of relocating Frankston tennis club, will require significant state & government investment. This process of successfully lobbying for future funds by community groups will be significantly undermined if council continue to mismanage grants totally in the multimillion dollars destined to benefit rate payers.
It is regrettable Frankston City Council wish to negotiate via the media. This messaging not only creates unnecessary uncertainty in the community, but it portrays council in a poor light and diminishes the good work many people within the Frankston City organization have contributed to the project along with the 100s of hours the FDBA have contributed in lobbying activities which has successfully delivered $7.7m of state & federal government investment in a project that will return $3 to rate payers for every $1 invested.
Sport and Recreation Victoria representatives recently confirmed with council officers that audited financials, which the FDBA provide council as part of its current lease terms, is an appropriate level of financial disclosure in this instance. The FDBA believed that this issue was resolved upon council receiving this advice.
The FDBA will continue to work with all stakeholders so this much needed community project can be delivered as intended and not half finished which ultimately creates greater financial challenges for Frankston City into the future. Something council is currently having to manage with its Yacht club project
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