Lions boss sure of Springfield vision
NEW Brisbane Lions chairman Bob Sharpless is confident the club's $60 million elite training and administration facility slated for Springfield will secure Federal Government funding and go ahead as planned.
The previous Labor government allocated $15 million in the budget for the project that was announced before the last election. But the current government has given no guarantees about funding. A spokesman for Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss confirmed yesterday that there was no change to what was reported in the QT earlier this month, that "the Lions will have to submit an application as part of our National Stronger Regions Fund".
Mr Sharpless, also the Springfield Land Corporation deputy chairman, said yesterday it was no surprise the new government "has got its own criteria for supporting projects".
"They are not just going to rubber stamp projects that were approved by the previous government, and there is nothing exceptional about that," he said.
"But the discussions we are having with the relevant minister and the department are still positive.
"It is regarded as being a good project and I am confident that we will get the funding that was previously agreed.
"There will be a few changes to the project I am sure, but when I put my Springfield hat on...this is not unusual
"If I look at the money that we were able to secure from the Federal Government on behalf of other stakeholders in this project, often you do go through a number of rounds of these things before you are ultimately successful."
Blair MP Shayne Neumann said: "Bob will do a tremendous job in the chairman's role at the Brisbane Lions" and added that he was hopeful the new government would come to the party on funding.
"The Coalition Government has said they are not funding the Lions project, but I am hopeful that they will reverse that decision.
"I am hopeful that they see the sense of doing so not just for Ipswich and the western corridor but also for south-east Queensland and the AFL because it is good for employment and recreation, good for the Lions and the AFL and good for the health and welfare of the community and for economic development."
Mr Neumann said the money was already in the budget and allocated.
"But the thing that really worries me is that it looks like the Coalition's regional communities package will only start rolling out in 2015," he said.
"My concern is even if they go back (with a new application) to the government that no decision will be made for some time. The Coalition hasn't put in place any form of application process for that to be looked at again."