SPORT in the Macedon Ranges could get a massive boost with the Labor government promising $5.6 million to build the first stage of the Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Precinct if re-elected.
Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement in New Gisborne on Friday alongside Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas and representatives from local sporting clubs who will directly benefit from the project.
As part of the Macedon Ranges Shire Council’s Precinct plan, the work will see a new grass oval, a synthetic surface sports field accommodating football, soccer and cricket, a pavilion, new tennis and netball courts, outdoor gym equipment and play spaces, barbeques and a track for walking, cycling and running.
The Precinct will be spread across two connecting sites in New Gisborne at the corner of Barringo Road and Hamilton Road, but will benefit communities from across the region.
The new Sports Precinct will be accessible to local teams, with the Gisborne Bulldogs Football Netball Club, the Gisborne Rookies Junior Football and the Gisborne Dragons Cricket Club all set to benefit.
The first stage of the project will see the two sports fields and accompanying pavilion built while funding is still being sought for the indoor sports stadium part of the precinct.
Mr Andrews said the project represents politics at its best.
“When local communities have a great idea, they work with local government and their local representative to develop that concept into a plan and try to secure funding to make that a reality,” he said.
“It’s not just great for Gisborne; it’s fantastic for the entire Macedon Ranges… it’s going to be a great centre of activity and a real showcase for this community.”
Ms Thomas said the project will help alleviate the pressure on facilities in the Macedon Ranges, especially on Gardiner Reserve which hosts 20 football teams and 30 cricket teams.
“This is a game changer for sport across the Macedon Ranges and for families. We have higher than average participation rates in a whole range of sports and the Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Precinct is about delivering the facilities we need so we can continue to grow sport in this region,” she said.
“Whether it’s watching the mighty Gisborne Bulldogs or a kick to kick on the weekend, I know how much this investment will mean to local families.”