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Friday, November 18, 2005

Aquatic centre funds bid shrinks by half

The Mercury: Aquatic centre funds bid shrinks by half [18nov05]

THE Launceston City Council will apply for $4 million from the State Government to build an aquatic centre, just half the initial state pledge.

Mayor Ivan Dean said the council was committed to building the new centre at Windmill Hill, and had discussed funding with Sport and Recreation Minister Jim Cox this week.

Former premier Jim Bacon originally promised $8 million for an aquatic centre on the condition it was matched by the Federal Government.

Although it was at one stage hailed by Tasmanian Liberal senators as their number one priority in Bass, the project was eventually dumped down the list, and just $4 million put on the table.

The State Government then moved to allocate almost $3 million of its funding to upgrade the ageing Silverdome and other sports infrastructure, offering the remaining money to the council if it agreed to take over the Silverdome.

The council rejected the offer, and was forced to hand back funding which had been provided. It was told it would have to reapply for funding, even though it appeared there would be no more than $4 million made available.

Despite the funding hassles, the designs for the centre will be on display at Windmill Hill from 10am-noon and 3pm-6pm today and 11am-5pm tomorrow




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