Wednesday, May 14, 2008

budget cuts burrinja

The Federal budget had an extra sting in its tail when it was delivered last night. It saw the end of the Regional Partnerships Program (RPP) as the program "had fallen short of acceptable standard of public administration, particularly in relation to the assessment of grant applications and the management of funding agreements".

What this means to the proposed Burrinja Performing Arts Centre is a $2million cut from the Federal Government, a significant dent in the project's budget, without it the project will not be able to proceed.

It's disappointing that the audit process for the RPP did not reveal those applications that stood up to public scrutiny. This project was completely legitimate and supported by local and state government. To suggest a lack of acceptable standard of public administration in the case of Burrinja is outrageous, this project has had to jump through many, many hoops to progress to the $9.6million project it is.

I am angered by this decision, our community will be angered by this decision. This has been a long fought project, with many dedicated individuals contributing countless hours to input into its development. And what of the future generations who miss out on the opportunity to be part of a major cultural facility in the region?

Burrinja Performing Arts Centre will make a major contribution to the arts and cultural needs of the local community providing residents, schools and parents with a local major performing arts venue - to take this away from us is denying our community a very necessary facility.

I have no doubt our community will be up in arms when the news hits and I look forward to assisting them in the renewed battle to see this project back on track.

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