Chesters won’t back down on RDAF funding

FEDERAL member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, says she will continue to fight for funding for the Bendigo Botanic Gardens and the Bendigo Bank Tennis Centre after the Coalition Government decided not to fund round five of the Regional Development Australia Fund.

Ms Chesters said she was pleased to hear the Government agreed to honour a $2 million upgrade of infrastructure at Hanging Rock (round four) and $500,000 to develop the Elmore Events Centre (round three), but was disappointed it had not committed to round five.

“Since the election of the Coalition Government, there has been a cloud of uncertainty around the funding allocation of at least five central Victorian RDAF projects,” she said.
“It is disappointing that Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss has not confirmed funding will go ahead for the Bendigo Botanic Gardens and the Bendigo Bank Tennis Centre.”

Ms Chesters said her first priority heading into her first sitting weeks of the newly-formed Parliament was to confirm any projects funded under the RDAF will go ahead.

“All these projects are worthy projects and that’s why I wrote to Minister Truss and met with his office,” she said.

“I wanted to ensure that the Minister and his office understood the importance of these projects for our community.

“It is good news that the Minister has finally agreed to honour funding allocated in round three and round four.

“However, projects allocated funding in Round 5a and Round 5b are also important and critical infrastructure that our community needs.”

Ms Chesters said the Bendigo electorate has been a big beneficiary of the RDAF, receiving funding for projects such as the multimillion dollar Sandhurst Theatre Complex, which is currently underway.