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Deputy PM hints on Mount funding.



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Peter Andren MP - Independent Member for Calare

20 December 2002

Deputy PM Hints on Mount Funding

Deputy John Anderson has given a sign that funding for Mount Panorama is on the Government’s discussion table, saying that while the Budget situation is difficult but he is hearing the message from the Bathurst community, according to Peter Andren, Member for Calare.

“Late last week I sat across from Mr Anderson in Parliament and asked him for the latest on Council’s Mount Panorama funding submission - he said that money is tight this year, but he’ll let me know in due course,” Mr Andren said.

“He will probably let his coalition mates and Bathurst Council know first but that’s OK by me, as long as it confirms the impression given to the electorate last election that the funding will be forthcoming.

“The pressure is on the Government to honour this strong suggestion that money would be made available.

“During the campaign Mr Anderson and the then Liberal Party President Shane Stone both suggested that Federal funding would be made available for the Mount.

“The National Party candidate took this on board saying it would come through but only if he was elected!

“The public and media outcry over this blatant pork-barrelling led the Deputy PM to state that such funding was not dependent on who won the seat.

“Since then its been a game - Bathurst Mayor Ian Macintosh doing a lot of lobbying and I’ve been making statements and asking questions in Parliament calling on the Government to clarify its position, and they’ve been ducking and weaving.

“The State Government’s done its bit and has given a commitment to meet its share of the $24 million required for the upgrade of the track and facilities, and the Councils is spending $4 million.

“The State Coalition has also matched Bob Carr’s promise.

“That leaves the Federal Coalition as odd man out. Its no good the State National Party candidate pointing the finger at me - her Federal mates are the ones with the heat on them.

“The Feds should put up their $10 million share to ensure Mount Panorama remains one of the world’s premiere motor racing venues and will also ensure that Bathurst continues to benefit from the economic boost that racing at the Mount brings,” Mr Andren added.

For more information: 0419 612 891. Eds please note that Peter will be on leave and may be out of reception. Please leave a message in his message bank.

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