ADJOURNMENT – City of Kingston: green wedge funding – Thursday, 24 March 2011

ADJOURNMENT – City of Kingston: green wedge funding – Thursday, 24 March 2011

Posted on 20. Apr, 2011 in Speeches

Mr LIM (Clayton) — I raise a matter for the attention and urgent action of the Minister for Environment and Climate Change. The matter I would like to bring to his urgent attention is the fate of the Kingston green wedge.

I ask the minister to conduct a serious investigation into the whereabouts of the sum of $1 million which seems to have vanished into thin air. I have received copies of two letters from the mayor of the City of Kingston, Cr Ron Brownless, addressed to the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, asking about the status of the funds. To this date the council has received no reply, which further confirms everybody’s belief that after more than 100 days this is still a do‑nothing government.

In 2009 the Brumby government established the Kingston green wedge task force, which was funded through a $1 million allocation in the 2009–10 state budget. I understand that the task force met approximately four times and through this process a memorandum of understanding was signed, sealed and delivered by the council, the government and half a dozen other agencies. This was formerly chaired by Mr Jack Krohn. I ask the minister to check with his colleague the Minister for Planning whether this task force still exists and what the government’s plans for it are.

Most importantly, what happened to the $300 000 the task force was allocated to undertake green wedge planning? I call upon the minister to find that money and give it to the City of Kingston; after all, the council is spending over $330 000 to finally do its green wedge management plan.

I also ask the Minister for Environment and Climate Change to find out where the rest of the money went. The remaining $700 000 is somewhere in the Parks Victoria budget. Last year the then Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Gavin Jennings, a member for South Eastern Metropolitan Region in the Council, visited the Kingston green wedge with me and the then mayor of the City of Kingston, Cr Steve Staikos, and announced that this existing funding would be handed over to the council for it to continue its fantastic chain of parks trail extension project, a venture it has already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on.

Kingston council has allocated approximately $8 million over five years to pay for the implementation stage of the green wedge management plan. I invite this conservative, do‑nothing government to match Labor’s commitment at the last election of $4 million to support the council to do the same.

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