Anzac Centenary Grants clarification
Statement from Keith Pitt in response to the media release issued by Bundaberg Regional Council on 11 March and published in the NewsMail on 12 March, 2014.
“Applications for the Hinkler electorate only closed on January 31.
“They were assessed for eligibility by an independent local ANZAC grants committee and sent to the Minister for approval, prior to the May 30 deadline.
“The Hinkler committee alone received many, many local applications for funding.
“The guidelines clearly advise that due to the high number of applications nationally, the outcome of the applications will not be known for several months:
- Due to the expected volume of applications that will be lodged, the time required to assess each application and provide recommendations to the Minister for decisions to be made will be lengthy and therefore the outcome of applications may not be known for several months after they have been lodged.
“This grant is to celebrate the Centenary of ANZAC in 2015.
“It seems Councillor Barnes did not read the guidelines before submitting Council’s application.
“The initial application was submitted before applications closed, but was deferred by the independent committee because information was missing.
“The process was explained to Councillor Barnes at length in person.
“Completing the Bargara Memorial in 2014, would result in the proposal failing to meet some of the major assessment criteria, including:
- The ability of the proposal to enable the local community to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War.
“Any reasonable person would understand that the application process and construction of the memorial cannot be completed in less than three months, in time for Anzac Day 2014.
“If Council has decided to defer the project, that is a matter for them. These grants are for the 2015 Centenary, not 2014.
“If Council is desperate to build a new memorial for Bargara this year, they are welcome to do it with Council funding.
“It is deeply disappointing that Councillor Barnes has got this so wrong, and has chosen to politicise this very important commemorative event.
“The Centenary of Anzac Local Grants Program is a very worthwhile project and I look forward to announcing the successful applications later this year.”