Cameron Howe, The Mordialloc Chronicle
October 4, 2017
Parkdale Yacht Club’s overdue redevelopment is in doubt following bureaucratic madness despite the project being funded in full.
With 200 plus members vying for more space, the dated 60-year-old clubhouse could soon become a boarded-up eyesore. This is despite $675,000 committed to the project by the Council in the adopted budget for this financial year, and a further $1.5 million within the budget for the following year.
According to Community Sustainability General Manager Mauro Bolin, the Council is preparing a response following an unsuccessful funding application to the State Government. “Council officers will now prepare a report to advise Council of the application status and determine the next steps for the project,” Mr Bolin says.
However eyebrows have been raised at the move to seek funding from the State Government given the project is in fact funded.
At the August ordinary meeting, Councillors decided to seek a funding commitment from endorsed candidates for the 2018 state election.
Councillor Geoff Gledhill, who is now the endorsed Liberal candidate appears to have been marginalised by his colleagues on a number of issues. Cr Gledhill has questioned why a funding commitment from candidates is required, and in contrast to the statement issued by the Council, says that the project is funded in full.
“I believe the Council has shirked its responsibility on this one,” Cr Gledhill says. “As far as motives go I think it falls to those opposing the project to explain and justify them.”
Fellow Central Ward councillor, Rosemary West believes that a funding commitment from state candidates is necessary. “All other projects on the beach have State Government funding so why not Parkdale,” she said.
“If councillors don’t want to support the project they should have the courage to say so,” Cr Gledhill declared.
At the September ordinary meeting, the project was again front and centre in a heated debate. Although council officers were recommending that the project proceed, councillor Rosemary West moved an amendment to explore shared use of the facility, which would be met with an EOI process expected to add months to the timeline.
“I’d like to see what happens in the next year or so,” Cr West stated at the meeting.
Some councillors accused Cr West of delay tactics, and providing a lack of clarity to the club, as to how they should proceed. The majority voting block ensured that the amendment was passed, arguably casting further doubt about the status of this overdue project.
Initial plans have been completed, and the project is expected to enhance the club’s capacity to meet demand from diverse user groups, including those with disabilities.
Parkdale Yacht Club have been working towards making this project a reality for the past five years. It would appear that the club would like to steer clear of any controversy and could not be reached for comment.
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