Moe to move forward

LATROBE City Council is moving swiftly to attract millions of dollars in funding for Moe’s revitalisation after the project was revived on Monday night.

Council staffers held a teleconference on Tuesday morning with senior bureaucrats in the state and federal governments, flagging their intention to lodge funding applications in as soon as three weeks.

“We’re preparing those as quickly as possible, but certainly we would expect to have formal submissions lodged within the next three to four weeks,” Latrobe City chief executive Paul Buckley said.

The hunt for funding was put on hold in December when council made the controversial decision to review plans for a new civic hub, library, bus interchange and skate park along the George Street railway precinct.

The move prompted another round of community consultation, which found the majority of submitters supported the existing plans.

Councillors voted accordingly on Monday night, unanimously backing a search for funding for the project as-is.

Mr Buckley said the $15 million to $20 million needed to complete the project could be sourced from a range of State Government pools of funding targeted at libraries, regional areas and the Latrobe Valley specifically, along with the Regional Development Australia fund.

“Particularly at state level, we will be liasing to ensure one submission is made where funding could be allocated from one or more different funds,” Mr Buckley said.

Council’s best bet is likely to be structural adjustment funding from the Federal Government.

The Latrobe Valley Transition Committee, which is tasked with helping the local economy diversify during its transition to a low carbon future, has already recommended the Moe project be considered for the pool of funding.

“You can never be over-confident, but this project has been promoted during the last couple of years with both state and federal governments, particularly through the LVTC,” Mr Buckley said.

“The detailed design is completed and the bottom line is we could pretty much go to tender tomorrow if we had the funding available.”

Councillor Peter Gibbons, who spearheaded the review, said the process had brought about more community agreement over the project.

“It’s agreed now, and we will proceed on and hopefully we get funding for various parts of the project,” he said.