No good news for funding but it will come

PUSH: Mayor Barry Lyons looks over aquatic centre plans. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

PUSH: Mayor Barry Lyons looks over aquatic centre plans. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

CITY of Greater Bendigo mayor Barry Lyons is not expecting too much good news to come out of the Federal Budget, but says funding for the region will start to flow later in the year. 

He said he would have liked to see more commitment from the federal level for major projects in the region, but "it was clear the government was tightening its purse strings"

"Following the federal government audit, the government realised there needed to cut a lot of corners," he said. 

"Once they get 12 months under their belt and work out what their commitments are, I'm sure they will restart funding. 

"They're having a hiatus to get their head around things."

Cr Lyons is hoping a meeting to Canberra, planned for later this month, will help push federal funding for key projects. 

The council is pushing for $15 million of federal funding for the Kangaroo Flat Aquatic Centre, following a $15 million commitment from the state government, and $5 million for the Bendigo Airport redevelopment. 

"We trust they will come on board when they begin their funding again and now we have a lot to run with in Canberra," he said. 

"Part of the reason we're going up there nice and early is to get it listed."

Cr Lyons said it was unfortunate the state government had not committed the $15 million to the aquatic centre prior to Federal Budget negotiations. 

"It would have made our case stronger for budget funding but we will push for it in the next round of federal grants," he said. 

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