Mitchell Shire Council has claimed that a reduction to the Victorian Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund will hurt local residents.
However, Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said the fund is allocated on a year-by-year basis only, and Mitchell Shire had a large amount of funding already.
The Growing Suburbs Fund is a dedicated fund to help support infrastructure growth in growing suburbs, but the fund has been reduced from $50million to $25million in 2017-18.
The fund has contributed more than $8.5million to projects in Mitchell Shire over the past two years, including new sports facilities, playgrounds and community hubs.
Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said without that funding, vital community projects could not have been built, particularly in a rate-capped environment.
‘‘The Andrews Government did not introduce a special rating category for interface councils and instead introduced the Growing Suburbs Fund to help meet the unique needs facilities faced in growth areas,’’ Cr Sanderson said.
‘‘To turn around and cut the fund after just two years means other projects in the pipeline may never see the light of day.’’
Ms Symes said Mitchell Shire had already reaped the rewards of various forms of funding from various avenues from the Victorian Government.
‘‘The Mitchell Shire has done exceptionally well under the various funds from the Labor Government, whether that be through education, sport, Growth Areas Fund and health,’’ she said.
‘‘I’ve worked hard to secure millions of dollars in investment for Mitchell Shire and there are many avenues for funding including Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution, education, health, infrastructure, Regional Development, Growing Suburbs and sports grants.
‘‘I’m working on significant projects for Seymour and I would welcome any ideas council would have.’’