Council to look for alternate funds

WELLINGTON shire Council chief executive David Morcom will attempt to identify further funding partners for the Yarram District Hub after councillors received a feasibility study into the project.

Council allocated $3.3 million over two years in the draft 2012-13 budget and was recently successful in receiving $1,107,605 from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, however the project has been costed at $5.6 million.

The Hub will include valuable services such as community meeting spaces, a reshaped customer service centre, community health including maternal and child health services, family services, specialist consulting rooms and toy library.

Wellington Shire Council chief executive David Morcom said it was council’s intention to seek additional funding to incorporate an advanced library and IT learning area.

He said that the Feasibility Study also considered the option of a new indoor program pool as part of the Hub development.

“The cost of the program pool proposed in the feasibility study is approximately $3.5 million,” Mr Morcom said.

“At this stage, Council does not have the capacity to fund this component on its own and could only envisage delivering a program pool with significant funding contribution from other sources.

“Initial investigations have suggested that funding options for the development of the indoor program pool are limited.

“Council has been in discussions with both State and Federal Governments and is currently exhausting all possibilities of a non-government funding source.”

Mr Morcom said the feasibility study clearly identified the current site of the Yarram Customer Service Centre and Library as the preferred location due to its central positioning with easy access to the main street and connections with the outdoor pool, playground, bus terminus and wet lands.

Acting mayor Leo O’Brien said receipt of the Yarram District Hub feasibility study was the final piece of governance required to progress the Hub project.

“The Yarram District Hub feasibility study is a blueprint for a way forward,” he said.

“It explores costs, funding and project partners, facility size and composition and operational partnerships.

“It is a key part of council’s commitment to address a critical shortage of family and children’s services across Yarram and district.

“As every parent would understand, investing in our children and infrastructure to support our children is an essential part of creating a liveable community.”

Cr O’Brien said council staff and a range of partners from the Yarram community have been working diligently to develop the feasibility study.

“Council could not have developed and delivered this report without considerable assistance and support from the community and it is important that we recognise that the Yarram District Hub feasibility study advisory committee has been the driver of this project,” he said.

“Their energy, commitment, enthusiasm and professionalism in this regard have been beyond reproach and we take this opportunity to thank each and every member of that group.”