Council accused of not playing ball

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FRANKSTON District Basketball Association have accused Frankston Council of refusing to return $2.5 million to the state government.

The money was pledged by the state government to the expansion of the Frankston Basketball Stadium in Seaford.

Plans to build that stadium fell through after a new lease agreement could not be reached between council and FDBA, in a saga that saw Dunkley MP Chris Crewther use his parliamentary privilege to take shots at the basketball board. (“Basketball Money on way to park”, The Times, 17/4/2018)

Federal funding touted for the Seaford stadium project was diverted towards Jubilee Park works.

FDBA said in a statement on their website that they have been working with Carrum MP Sonya Kilkenny to “deliver alternate facilities for basketball located on crown land. Unfortunately, this process has been hampered by Frankston City Council’s refusal to return the $2.5 million back to the state government.”

“This refusal directly undermines the opportunities available to the association to co-fund alternate facilities to the benefit of the 1000s of players, coaches, officials & volunteers connected to the association through their shared passion for the sport of basketball.

“The rationale of council’s refusal is based on council having spent a large proportion of the $2.5million on design & legal costs.”

Frankston Council CEO Dennis Hovenden did not respond to queries from The Times asking if the money had been spent.

Frankston MP Paul Edbrooke said that “the state government fully expect the $2.5 million funding for the unsuccessful Frankston Basketball Stadium project to be returned in full, seeing as the project was never started.”

The FDBA statement said that “as advised to Sonya Kilkenny MP, it is the position of the FDBA that this funding committed to in 2014 be activated for the benefit of basketball in Carrum electorate which was and continues to remain the intention of the funding,”

“Due to this issue now escalating with both the state and council engaging legal teams to work through the current impasse, Frankston Basketball encourages you to lend your voice so this much needed funding remains in the seat of Carrum, for the benefit of basketball.”

First published in the Frankston Times – 29 October 2018

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