Could Port Kembla community miss out on annual funding again in 2020?

The Port Kembla community could miss out on its annual funding under the Port Kembla Community Investment Fund (PKCIF) again in 2020.

Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully said that while the Berejiklian Government is fast-tracking projects across the state it is on a go-slow in Port Kembla.

“Now is not the time for the Berejiklian Government to be cagey about the 2020 funding round”, Mr Scully said.

The PKCIF, which started in March 2016 and is to run for 99-years, has provided a minimum of $1 million funding annually for community projects in Port Kembla.

There have been three rounds of funding since the PKCIF was first announced.

Despite a review of the PKCIF being completed and endorsed by the Deputy Premier in 2019, the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government has not yet committed to announcing a new funding round for 2020.

Instead the Government says:

“The timing of future funding rounds and key dates is at the discretion of the NSW Government.”

“There wasn’t a funding round in 2019 and now the Government won’t commit to opening applications before 31 December this year despite it originally being touted as an annual funding program.

“At a time when local communities are on their knees trying to save local jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is extremely disappointing that the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government is being cagey about the funding allocation for 2020.

“The Government has reviewed the program and the review’s recommendations were accepted by the Minister in 2019 so why is there a hold-up in announcing the 2020 annual funding round for the Port Kembla community?”, he asked.

Mr Scully said that he has been fielding regular enquiries by community groups in Port Kembla asking for details on the PKCIF and its 2020 funding round.

“I have written to the Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, again in addition to the two earlier occasions I have done so this year, calling on him to announce the 2020 PKCIF funding round immediately.”

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