MEMBERS for Kiama, Gareth Ward, is continuing to try and alleviate any misunderstanding in relation to State Government funding of Shellharbour City Sharks grandstand roof following a meeting with then Minister for Sport and Recreation Graham Annesley last year.
The Sharks went ahead with the works under the understanding that funds would be available, however Mr Annesley’s resignation to take up the CEO’s position with the Gold Coast Titans Rugby League Club before the funding had been signed off, has left the funds in limbo.
“Following a meeting with the new Executive of Shellharbour Sharks, I made representations to the Sports Minister based on the claim that a former Minister had committed to the provision of funding,” Mr Ward said.
“Whilst there are claims of ‘promises’, there is nothing in writing that confirms the formal offer of grant funding.
“I have, however, made representations to both the Country Rugby League and the Premier’s office to seek support for the Shellharbour Sharks – regardless of how decisions were made – it is obvious that financial support is required.
“Whilst I await advice from the NSW Premier, I am advised that Country Rugby League have provided a financial assistance package for the Sharks and am continuing to work with the new board.
“It is essential that before any sporting club proceeds with a project that any commitment be obtained in writing so that the extent and scope of the grant is understood,” he added.
Sharks president Alan Cody said his club had an e-mail ‘more or less’ guaranteeing the funding from Mr Annesley and apologising for not having everything signed off before his hurried departure.
“You would think that when you shake a politician’s hand that the deal is done – but it appears as though that’s not the case.”