Performing arts centre funding not affected by VCAT appeal

A prolonged appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) will not affect of Commonwealth funding for Bendigo Senior Secondary College’s proposed performing Arts development, according to Federal Labor Candidate for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters.

Ms Chesters met with Regional Australia, Local Government and Arts Minister, Simon Crean, in Canberra yesterday.

“Simon Crean has reassured me that if the VCAT appeal takes longer than anticipated it won’t affect the Federal Government’s funding for the project,” she said.

“While there is normally a strict time frame governing Commonwealth funding for projects, the Minister has said that any delays that are beyond the control of sponsoring organisations will not affect the availability of funding.”

Ms Chesters said this is will be a wonderful new facility for Bendigo and it is a shame that it may be unnecessarily delayed by less than a handful of objectors.

“I am very supportive of this exciting project and the people of Bendigo should not have to wait any longer than necessary for the completion of what will be a world class performing arts facility,” she said.

The Gillard Government has allocated $12.3 million for the proposed Sandhurst Community Theatre Complex as part of the first round of funding from the Regional Development Australia Fund.

When completed, the project will provide Bendigo with a new 1000-seat theatre complex offering music, dance and drama studios, general learning areas, a commercial kitchen and an upgraded theatre entrance foyer and other amenities.