Turnaround good news for projects

DEVELOPMENT projects at Sportz Central and Valla Community Hall appear back on track after what has been described as a 'back flip' by the Rudd Government.

According to Federal MP for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, the Government has backed down on its decision to withdraw offers of funding for the two community projects.

On Budget night Regional Development Minister Anthony Albanese axed the Regional Partnerships program and announced that any community groups which had not signed a contract with the Government would not receive funds.

Coffs Harbour's Sportz Central and Valla Community Hall had received offers of funding under the Regional Partnerships program but had yet to sign a contract.

Since the Budget announcement the Rudd Government has been under pressure to honour the funding.

Mr Hartsuyker raised the matter in Federal Parliament this week, highlighting the important role of the Valla Community Hall and Sportz Central.

"After having claimed that the Regional Partnerships programme was a rort the Minister has been forced into an embarrassing back flip," Mr Hartsuyker said.

"He has announced that 86 of the 116 projects that had originally received offers of funding will be given further time to sign a contract with the Government.

"The Minister has said the renewed offer will apply to not-for-profit organisations so I look forward to the Department contacting the management committees at both Sportz Cental and Valla Hall and organising for a contract to be signed."

Coffs Harbour Surf Life Saving Club's plans to improve their clubhouse are also covered by the government's change of heart.

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