The cupboard is still bare
THE Gladstone Foundation faces one simple problem at the moment - it still has an empty bank account.
That is despite an announcement last December by then treasurer Andrew Fraser and three LNG proponents that they would be contributing a total of $13.5 million.
For reasons unknown, that money has still not landed in the Foundation's bank account. The Gladstone Foundation was established in December 2010 to channel voluntary payments from LNG companies, as well as other major companies, to be used for social infrastructure needs in the region.
The Foundation's chair Jim Petrich yesterday confirmed the money had not come through yet, but said it was due soon.
Mr Petrich said the state election had held up the process, but there were no problems getting the LNG companies to pay up.
Gladstone mayor Cr Gail Sellers was less diplomatic.
"We are still waiting for the $13.5 million from LNG industry proponents, announced by the previous state government last December, to be handed to the foundation," Cr Sellers said yesterday.
"However, I believe the funds will be received by the end of the financial year."
She did not hide her frustration. "I am disappointed at the length of time it is taking for the funding to arrive, as the Gladstone Foundation is the ideal vehicle for achieving the region's social infrastructure needs," she said.
Cr Sellers was on the Gladstone Foundation board.
It was not clear who was to blame for the delay since the December announcement.
There have been suggestions the problem could be one of bureaucracy, rather than lack of effort by LNG companies.
The state's co-ordinator general played the central role between the LNG companies and the Gladstone Foundation and helped facilitate the payment process.
A spokesperson for one of the companies, QCG, yesterday said "arrangements on the funding continue to be discussed".
A spokesperson for APLNG said the funding was still being "finalised."
Established in December 2010.
Board members: (chair) Jim Petrich, Gail Sellers, Leo Neill-Ballantine, Judy Reynolds, Kim Mahoney and Gail Davidson.
In December 2011 an announcement was made that QCG, APLNG and GLNG would contribute $13.5m between them. Arrow Energy, the fourth proponent, will make a similar contribution after its final investment decision.