Media Release - Calls for Federal Government to Honour Merewether Baths Funding

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24 February 2014

Sharon Claydon today called on the Federal Government to honour the fully-budgeted funding grant to redevelop the Merewether Baths Pavilion and surrounding domain. 

Sharon Claydon MP today called on the Federal Government to honour the fully-budgeted funding grant to redevelop the Merewether Baths Pavilion and surrounding domain.

Speaking to a private member’s motion in Parliament, Ms Claydon called on the Abbott Government to release the Regional Development Australia Funding (RDAF) grant of more than $1million to fund the redevelopment, as well as grants awarded to more than 700 local councils around the country.

“The ongoing uncertainty around Regional Development Australia Funding is both unnecessary and unfair,” Ms Claydon said.

“The Merewether Baths Pavilion and Domain upgrade wasn’t an election promise as the Infrastructure Minster claims. It was fully funded in the 2013-14 budget with more than $1million earmarked for Newcastle City Council towards this project.  That’s $1million that the city no longer has for community infrastructure,” she added.

The RDAF program was designed to improve community facilities in regional areas and stimulate local economies, supporting existing employment and creating new jobs. The Merewether Baths pavilion and domain grant was awarded to Newcastle City Council to complement the major upgrade to the baths themselves that commenced today.

Ms Claydon emphasised the importance of regional Australia and its economic contribution and called on the government to support Newcastle and regional Australia, and honour the properly awarded grants.

“The Government needs to come clean on why they’re abandoning these much needed small-scale community infrastructure projects. This cut to regional funding is cruel and it doesn’t make sense.

“In the same way that the Government saw sense in honouring Labor’s fully funded commitment to duplicate the Tourle Street Bridge, I again call on them to honour the funds that were allocated for the Merewether Baths in the 2013-14 budget.  Newcastle deserves nothing less.”

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Authorised by Sharon Claydon MP, 427 Hunter Street Newcastle