Shire switches cash on youth hub

Emily AceSouth Western Times

Capel Shire Council has officially sidelined the Youth and Community Facility in a unanimous decision, forfeiting $674,000 funding from Lotterywest and renegotiating $1 million from Royalties for Regions to support a revised proposal.

It comes after the council rejected the tender for the construction of the $5 million project at a special meeting in August, where councillors agreed the risk of exceeding the budget was too great.

A total of $3.7 million was contributed to the project from Lotterywest, Royalties for Regions and the Building Better Regions Fund.

The project, which was stage 4 of the Capel Civic Precinct, was reviewed by staff who recommended to the council that money be allocated to complete works on the Earle Scott Reserve.

To address the undeveloped space, $180,000 will now be used to complete stage 3, upgrade the existing BMX pump track and tidy up interfaces between stages 3, 3A and 4.

The remaining grant funding agreement with Lotterywest will now be cancelled, as well as an existing grant funding agreement with the Federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

The council will also return $61,654 to the Federal Building Better Regions Fund for grant funds claimed and renegotiate the funding agreement with the Department of Primary Industries – an election commitment from Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray, some of which had already been spent.

The outcome will leave the existing stage 4 site as an irrigated turfed surface, suspending the construction of the centre for review at a future date.

Cr Peter McCleery said the council had “jumped the gun in enthusiasm of getting a large grant” and was glad to support the new outcome.

He said while it would be “disappointing” for people in the town, he was pleased the council had “restrained” its spending considering recent “issues” with managing its money.

Cr Jennifer Scott said the project was not “completely gone” and when it came up again, the council would “look at its potential at that time”.

Cr Doug Kitchen said he looked forward to reviewing the project with the community in the future.

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