Dolphins funding details questioned

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Public funding: Then mayor Brian Cunial with Frankston Dolphins’ Gary Buckenara in 2017. Council publicly revealed their funding to the club on 10 December. Picture: Gary Sissons

FRANKSTON Council have publicly revealed how much of ratepayer’s money has been used to prop up the Frankston Dolphins in the wake of their near-death in 2016.

In response to a question put to the CEO at November’s meeting by Cr Kris Bolam, CEO Dennis Hovenden outlined the support given to the club.

Mr Hovenden said “council recognised the important role an elite level plays in the Frankston community and resolved to support the club through this period.”

Mr Hovenden said that council paid $78,853 to a “finance company to secure ownership of kitchen equipment in the pavilion”. He also said that council had “supported the club through venue hire and catering at a total cost of $49,168” since 1 December 2016.

“Facility maintenance costs of $20,159, capital costs of $149,000” and a rental waiver to the value of $50,800 were also acknowledged by the CEO.

Council is currently negotiating with the football club for them to begin paying rent again.

The answer did not mention the $850,000 contributed by council towards funding new lights at the Dolphins’ home ground. (“Lights, camera, action for Dolphins”, The Times, 3/9/18)

A $3 million dollar refurbishment of the function rooms at the ground also did not get a mention, although that project had begun before 2016.

It has been clarified that these were not mentioned because they were funds put into the “facilities” and not the “club”.

Full details of council funding put into club “facilities” were not made available to The Times by publication deadline.

Mr Hovenden had previously served on the board, but has now stepped down.

The Dolphins had their license to play in the VFL revoked in late 2016 after a long period of financial difficulty. After spending season 2017 on the sideline, they returned to the field for the 2018 VFL season.

First published in the Frankston Times – 17 December 2018

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