Give our money back – State Government demands return of $2.5m after project fail
A LEGAL stoush could be looming over a $2.5 million grant that Frankston Council doesn’t want to give back to the State Government.
The council received the money for the Frankston Basketball Stadium redevelopment, which collapsed due to a dispute between it and Frankston and District Basketball Association (FDBA) over the stadium lease.
The State Government now wants the money returned — but the Leader understands the council is reluctant, saying it has spent some of it on planning for the failed stadium, and wants to use the rest on basketball facilities elsewhere.
It is understood the government is now weighing up legal action to retrieve the grant.
Both parties were tightlipped last week, saying discussions over the grant were continuing.
In a statement, mayor Michael O’Reilly said the council was in negotiations with the government over the funding.
“The council has written to the Minister for Sport Martin Pakula and is awaiting a response,” he said. “The council looks forward to discussing the matter with the Minister.”
Carrum state Labor MP Sonya Kilkenny confirmed that the government wanted the money returned.
“The government committed $2.5 million towards the stadium extension project to increase basketball capacity in the Seaford and local area,” Ms Kilkenny said.
“The council withdrew its support for the project.
“The State Government has asked the council to repay the funding.”
Neither Ms Kilkenny or the council would comment on the possibility of legal action over the grant.
A government spokesman, who did not want to be named, said in a statement: “Discussions on this matter are ongoing and we will seek a resolution as soon as possible.”
Ms Kilkenny said she remained committed to developing basketball facilities in the area.