Brooklyn Residents Action Group and Hobsons Bay council have expressed “deep disappointment” at missing out on funding for the Brooklyn Community Hall in the first round of the state government’s West Gate Neighbourhood Fund grants.
Nineteen grants, ranging from $100,000-$1.1 million and totalling $6.4 million, were announced last fortnight.
A press release issued by Williamstown MP Melissa Horne said the funding would “support communities in the inner west during construction of the West Gate Tunnel Project” and was for “improving neighbourhoods nearest where the project is being built”.
The council had submitted a funding submission requesting $1,627,000 towards the redevelopment of Brooklyn Community Hall, which it has already allocated $500,000 towards.
BRAG president Bert Boere said the government’s funding should be for communities most affected by and closest to the West Gate Tunnel.
“With the M80 blocked and traffic being diverted down Grieve Parade, and you’re getting traffic diverted off the freeway onto Kororoit Creek Road and then up and down Millers (Road), it’s been pretty horrendous,” he said.
Studies conducted by Hobsons Bay council predict 11,800 trucks per day in Millers Road at Brooklyn when the tunnel is built.
“The amount of trucks we’re going to end up getting down Millers Road, from West Gate Freeway to Geelong Road is about 12,000 a day – we’ve got to be one of the worst-affected areas, and we’re right next to it.
“If that’s the sort of thing we’re going to expect, people here just about couldn’t get out of their suburb.
“We would have expected that you’d be looking after those areas adjacent to the footprint of the project, the closer ones, having priority.
“In Brooklyn, it’s got to be about the worst location of the lot.”
Mayor Jonathon Marsden said the council was “deeply disappointed” at missing out.
“Council has worked closely with the Brooklyn community to develop plans to turn the Brooklyn Community Hall into a much-needed community space and we are deeply disappointed at West Gate Tunnel’s decision not to fund it,” he said.
“Brooklyn is one of the suburbs most adversely affected by the West Gate Tunnel Project and we know that this hall is a high priority for the Brooklyn community.”
A government spokeswoman said Brooklyn would benefit from other projects funded in round one.
“Brooklyn will benefit from a $500,000 contribution to revitalise Pipe Line Reserve, including landscaping, tree planting and new footpaths,” she said.
“In addition, a $217,000 contribution will create five major public art projects along the Federation Trail.
“These are really exciting projects for Brooklyn that build on more than $5 million previously provided by the West Gate Tunnel Project to upgrade three parks in Brooklyn that are already open for the community to enjoy.
“Over 65 applications were received for lots of great projects. We couldn’t fund them all in this first round, but there’ll be other rounds for community groups and councils to put forward their ideas.”
Fund recipients are:
Yarraville Glory Soccer Club ($1,184,622)
Spotswood Kingsville RSL ($745,350)
Australian Multicultural Community Services at Footscray and Williamstown and Newport Anglers Club and Fish Protection Society ($500,000 each)
South Kingsville Community Centre ($485,000)
Friends of Lower Kororoit Creek to upgrade Hosken Reserve at Altona North ($346,000)
Hobsons Bay council to revitalise Pipe Line Reserve at Brooklyn ($500,000)
Maribyrnong council for multi-purpose cricket nets at Hanmer Reserve, Yarraville, and road safety improvements for schools in Somerville Road, Yarraville ($520,000)
Pigeons Projects trading as 100 Story Building in Footscray ($441,000)
Deakin University for five public art projects along Federation Trail between Brooklyn and Spotswood ($217,625)
YMCA Victoria for social enterprises at skate parks in Yarraville, West Footscray, Highpoint, Newport, Laverton and Altona Meadows ($201,736)
Network West ($177,250)
Cinespace Incorporated at Footscray ($170,999 )
Footscray Community Arts Centre ($105,000)
Outdoor Education Foundation at Footscray and Westgate Health Co-operative ($100,000 each)