THE proposed Mount Gambier Community and Recreation Hub has taken one giant leap towards becoming a reality with Member for Barker Tony Pasin securing $15m in federal funding for the project.
Mount Gambier City Council yesterday released a $39.1m blueprint for the mooted Margaret Street complex following months of community consultation and detailed financial modelling.
The federal grant, secured through the Regional Growth Fund (RGF), is contingent on the community expressing its support for the development through the planned postal poll which council will conduct in late November and early December.
“My advocacy for council’s application to the Regional Growth Fund has secured this offer, but I have always said that ultimately, this is a decision for the community,” Mr Pasin said.
“I have been very clear in my discussions with the council that should the community not wish for the project to go ahead, I expect the council to withdraw the application.
“Should the community poll support the proposed recreation centre this decision means that the community will have access to $15m from the Regional Growth Fund to assist with making this project a reality.
“I’ve fought for this project at a Federal level to secure these funds, now it’s over to the community to decide if they want this project to proceed.”
It is a major boost for the project, with council chief executive officer Mark McShane stating the local government body would contribute $10m.
The State Government is yet to contribute towards the project, with proponents hopeful funds can be allocated to make up the $14.1m shortfall.
A 25-metre indoor pool, children’s water play area, six regulation size multi-purpose courts for ball sports such as netball, basketball, tennis and soccer, and gym and fitness spaces are all catered for in the intermediate designs produced by Design Inc Co-op.
Mr McShane said financial projections based off the proposed operating model – which would include $30m in funding from the federal and state goverments – meant council did not foresee rate increases to fund operation of the facility.
The community survey will be released late next month, using unique bar coded voting slips to gauge support from an estimated 19,000 electors within the city.
Voting will close December 21, with the results expected to be finalised mid-January.