Noosa claims it is owed $136,000 from federal grants

SUNSHINE Coast Council has denied Noosa missed out on its fair share of Regional Development Australia funding because it will soon be de-amalgamating.

Brian Stockwell, the community committee adviser to de-amalgamation transfer manager Peter Franks, has accused council of cutting Divisions 11 and 12 out of $136,000 worth of federal grants in the lead-up to de-amalgamation.

A council spokesman denied the allegation, saying the funding was not division specific, but was for projects of regional significance.

But council could not provide details of what projects had been submitted, their cost or location.

Mr Stockwell, who is the Noosa Residents and Ratepayers president, said the Federal Government had allocated $649,000 for the Sunshine Coast Council from its RDA budget.

On the proportional basis by which the funds were allocated, he argued the Noosa region should have been entitled to $136,000 worth of project funding.

"The guidelines for the funding are quite broad and there would have been numerous useful projects that would have been able to be completed by the 2016 deadline in the grant,'' he said.

"Projects could be for new infrastructure or refurbishment of existing infrastructure such as community facilities, streetscapes or community housing; support economic diversification, and support of the environment. "I became aware of this issue one business day before submissions closed and was unable to achieve an appropriate outcome."

He is advocating a sum of $136,000 be wiped off Noosa's de-amalgamations costings that will have to be paid to the Coast council as part of the state government's terms for the council split.

Council's spokesman said the RDA criteria for funding to a local government was for current, shovel-ready projects. "On this basis, it has nothing to do with de-amalgamation," he said.

"No advice has been received from Regional Development Australia that specific project funding has been approved."



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