Mandurah mayor, Murray president and Mandurah MLA hit out at Federal Govt labelling Peel region part of Perth

Mandurah mayor, Murray president and Mandurah MLA hit out at Federal Govt labelling Peel region part of Perth

THE Peel region could miss out on hundreds of thousands of dollars funding after the Federal Government dumped the Peel region within the Perth metropolitan area.

Mandurah MLA David Templeman has urged the community to fight the decision, Mandurah Mayor Marina Vergone claimed Mandurah had been neglected once again and Shire of Murray President Maree Reid is outraged.

The Federal Government advised the Shire of Murray it was ineligible to apply for the upcoming National Building Better Regions Fund because it was deemed Metropolitan, while cities up to 35 times bigger such as the Gold Coast could apply.

Residents in towns such as Coolup with a population of 150, Pinjarra, North Pinjarra, South and North Yunderup and North Dandalup would not be permitted to apply according to the guidelines available here.

Forthcoming grant rounds have been announced under the Building Better Regions Fund and Community Investment Stream Fund.

The Building Better Regions Fund is for up to $10 million with the Community Investment Fund for up to $20,000 is designed for mainly local community groups.

Murray shire president Maree Reid said the community would be outraged at the decision.

“This means our resident groups such as Coolup Progress Association and South Yunderup, North Yunderup, North Pinjarra and North Dandalup Residents Associations have been told their town is deemed metropolitan and cannot apply yet the Gold Coast, with a population of 590,000, is eligible,” she said.

“Even in WA, the cities of Armadale, Swan and Kwinana can apply for this regional fund.

“It puts in serious doubt the Murray Regional Equestrian Centre undercover arena and the Pinjarra Town Centre Revitalisation Strategy as well as projects in smaller towns.

“If we are not permitted to apply for funding, we have limited options to secure the funding needed to build the facilities and infrastructure we need to grow to 160,000 by 2050.

“Many of our major projects will come to a standstill and the projects our community groups have worked so hard on will either not happen or only go ahead with ratepayer funding.

“This decision is especially frustrating given that the Peel Region has only received 2.9 per cent of the Royalties for Regions funding since its inception in 2008-09, yet the region is the third largest generator of royalties in WA.

“The Shire of Murray and the Peel Region are in a funding black hole when our unemployment is almost at 10 per cent, with Mandurah at 11 per cent.”

Mandurah mayor says City neglected

Mandurah MLA David Templeman called on the community to join the fight against the announcement, while Mandurah Mayor Marina Vergone claimed Mandurah and the Peel had again been neglected by the Federal Government.

Mr Templeman said it was a massive threat to the Peel, economically, socially and environmental.

“With a simple stroke of the pen, the Turnbull Government considers us just another suburb of Perth and the financial implications are dire,” he said.

“Did they consult the community about this decision? No.

“Did they talk to the community about our aspirations for the region? No.

“Did they come down and actually try to understand why we have been fighting as a region to access our fair share of funding from Canberra and from the state from the Royalties for Regions program? No.

“We are now the forgotten people and I am not going to accept this.”

Mr Templeman said it was time for community, business and regional leaders to come together to defend the region’s identity and shared future.

He said the decision had no basis in logic and had been made by an “arrogant out-of-touch” government.

“It now needs to be a rallying point for the region,” he said.

“This is the single most important decision that ultimately will impact on our economic and social well being into the future.”

Cr Vergone believed Mandurah had been short changed by the Federal Government and treated differently to other similarly-sized regions.

“Not only are projects like the eastern foreshore development under threat, it will impact on many community groups and not-for-profit organisations that will not be able to apply for funding,” she said.

She claimed the Federal Government had used flawed data to determine Mandurah and Murray were non-regional.