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Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said he was confident the end was in sight for advocacy efforts to secure the $10 million external funding needed to build a new Proserpine Entertainment Centre.
“The on-going historical issues identified after the PEC was damaged during TC Debbie has been especially frustrating for the Proserpine community,” he said.
“The journey has been rocky as we went from an initial $500,000 insurance repair bill to a building audit report late last year indicating that demolishing the old facility and building a new one was the best outcome for the community.
“Deputy Mayor John Collins and I have been advocating strongly for Federal and State Government funding support to create a new, state of the art, entertainment complex for Proserpine.
“After talks and a tour of the facility with Member for Dawson George Christensen in October last year we have since been working hard behind the scenes to nail down the $10.3 million needed for a new complex.
“Getting local government, state government and federal government working together to deliver funding is complex but all tiers have been positive in finding ways to deliver a timely outcome.
“As recent as last weekend we held talks with George and he shared our frustration and indicated that he was leaving no stone unturned to specifically deliver this funding now and not as an election promise,” Mayor Willcox said.
“Fingers crossed in the next few weeks George delivers and we get the funding green light and construction of the new complex can start in the second half of this year.
“I would like to stress that while we have been “on the road” chasing grant money, we have moved forward and ticked the building design concept boxes.
“Once the funding lands in our pockets we are ready to move into the detailed design stage.”
Deputy Mayor John Collins said the PEC was the heart and soul of the Proserpine community.
“There are so many Proserpine locals passionate about this project as the facility is utilised by the community year-round.
“Mayor Andrew and I have advocated to anyone who would listen and if we can actually secure the funding prior to the election then that will provide a huge lift for our town,” he said.