CALARE MP Andrew Gee is adopting a "wait and see" approach to future federal government funding for a new go kart track to be built at the top of Mount Panorama after Bathurst Regional Council promised no ratepayers' money would be spent on the project.
Council recently voted to direct $750,000 of the $1.25 million allocated to Bathurst under the federal government's Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program towards starting work on the track, with up to 30 other community projects missing out on funding as a result.
Mr Gee said that as the local member he would have no say in whether projects put forward by council would be approved by the Department of Infrastructure, but he had asked Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, whose department administers the grants, to "ensure that all projects meet the eligibility criteria".
ALSO MAKING NEWS:
And he said it was too early to say whether the federal government would contribute any more of the estimated $4.5 million to complete the track development after council said it would be funded entirely from state and federal grants.
"I acknowledge that there are strong views either way on the proposed project," Mr Gee said.
"Under this grants program it's the responsibility of councils to consult with their communities and submit projects they consider are a priority, including their location.Individual
"MPs are not given a say in the assessment or approval of grants under this program. It's not a competitive program and under the guidelines a decision will be made depending on whether the projects council submits meet the eligibility criteria.
"... As this grant allocation process is currently under way, let's wait to see if it's successful before making a call on future grant applications.
"There are no other programs open at the moment and we'll have to wait for the budget to see what may (or may not) become available."
Council approved plans to build the go kart track in McPhillamy Park almost two years ago but there has been a growing campaign against the location in recent months.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.