An application for the development of a walk/bike trail in Moama has been rejected because of government guidelines.By Jess Craig
Murray Shire general manager Greg Murdoch will seek amendments to Federal Government grant guidelines after a tourism grant application was rejected.
The application to the government’s Tourism Industry Regional Development Fund for the development of a themed walk/bike trail in Moama was rejected because of government guidelines.
In July, council announced it was working on an application for a Murray River-themed walking and bike track in Moama.
The proposed walking and bike track would have been part of council’s Moama Murray River Access Plan.
In a report to council, Murray Shire general manager Greg Murdoch said the funding to be used for the application would consist of $120,000 allocated to the construction of a bike path along Perricoota Rd between 24 Lane and the Five Mile.
The government guidelines state funding cannot be used to engage or pay permanent employees to undertake works associated with the project, or pay for the use of council’s own staff or equipment.
The funds can be used to buy materials needed for the project.
‘‘These guidelines make it unviable for council to proceed with the proposed application,’’ Mr Murdoch said.
‘‘If council is not able to use any of its existing plant and labour to implement the projects and are forced to engage a third party, it would be much more expensive, take longer and our outdoor staff would be under-utilised.
‘‘It should be noted that the objectives of both these programs is to increase tourism opportunities and expand employment as a result of the proposed projects.
‘‘The objectives do not include creation of new employment to carry out the projects. In rural Australia it is more often than not that local government is the sole developer of major tourism infrastructure projects.
‘‘It is ludicrous that councils are ineligible for such grants because they would use their own employees, plant and equipment.’’
Mr Murdoch will make representations to relevant government bodies so that local government is able to use its own employees, plant and equipment to carry out relevant works.
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