Junee Shire Council is still waiting on desperately needed funds to complete the Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) upgrade following Cootamundra MP Katrina Hodgkinson’s shock resignation on Monday afternoon,
With the project timeline requiring tender finalisation in August/September to stay on track, time is ticking.
Council general manager James Davis said they have been in weekly correspondence with the state government stressing the need to move quickly.
“We’re in a holding pattern to be honest,” Mr Davis said.
“We asked consistently for our position to be considered by June 30 so we could have certainty about making arrangements for the jail.
“That’s the frustrating part, they’ve known for quite some time.”
Council applied directly to Mrs Hodgkinson for support on May 31. On July 15, the government announced the project was shortlisted with “high priority” for funding through the new $1 billion Safe and Secure Water Fund.
The Department of Primary Industries and Water are reportedly almost finished the application assessment.
Mrs Hodgkinson said the application is “just getting the final ticks from Infrastructure NSW” but she’s received assurances it will be “fully-funded.”
She couldn’t put a date on an official confirmation or delivery of funds, but said she wished she could have been able to make an announcement sooner.
“We’re looking forward to hearing from them within the next few weeks,” Mr Davis said.
Mayor Neil Smith said Mrs Hodgkinson’s resignation shouldn’t have an impact on the funding as it’s now in Minister Niall Blair’s hands.
“She’s done a good job of advocating for us,” Cr Smith said.