The State Government has been warned off thinking it can absolve itself of responsibility to provide West Dapto infrastructure by plundering the Shell Cove Capital Distribution, which is worth $72 million.
Shellharbour City Council will tonight debate a recommendation to ‘ring-fence’ the Shell Cove Capital Distribution in the event the forced merger of the Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas proceeds, subject to the outcome of the legal proceedings in the NSW Land and Environment Court.
Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson has written to the Minister for Local Government, Paul Toole MP today requesting that the Shell Cove Capital Distribution should be specifically used for the benefit of the residents with the current boundaries of Shellharbour City.
Ms Watson has requested that the protection of the funds should be incorporated into any proclamation, if and when the new entity for the Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas is determined by the Governor of New South Wales.
Ms Watson’s blunt letter warns that:
“It will be very tempting for the new administrator of your proposed new entity to plunder the Shell Cove Capital Distribution to fill the current $200 million infrastructure black hole in the West Dapto Urban Growth Area.
“It will also be very tempting for your Government to conveniently use the Shell Cove Capital Distribution as an excuse to absolve itself of the responsibility to provide appropriate funding for West Dapto’s infrastructure needs.”
Comments attributable to Anna Watson MP:
“I just don’t trust this Government to not be cunning and shifty in thinking it can plunder the $72 million dividend from the Shell Cove development and use it to escape its responsibility to contribute to the infrastructure needs of West Dapto.
“If the Government precedes with its forced merger plans, I can see the bean-counters and the new administrator make a beeline for this money to plug infrastructure black holes across the new merged entity.
“I want to see this $72 million fund protected from the grubby hands of the bean-counters and the Government. The Government has to stump up its share of the funding for the infrastructure needs of West Dapto.
“The $72 million in the Shell Cove Capital Distribution should be preserved for the needs of Shellharbour residents.”
31 May 2016