by Jackson Russell

RESIDENTS of the Macedon Ranges are one step closer to an elite sporting facility with the launch of the Macedon Ranges Sports Hub Business Plan.

Senator for Victoria James Paterson and Liberal candidate for Macedon Amanda Millar joined Macedon Ranges Shire Councillors and local sports clubs representatives at the future site of the precinct on Wednesday to officially launch the project.

The feasibility study for the hub, which is part of the Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Precinct, was funded with $100,000 from the federal government’s Community Development Grants Program

The visit marked the completion of the feasibility study for the project. Council and community stakeholders will using the outcomes of this work to advocate for funding opportunities, including grant opportunities, to fund the sports precinct proposal.

Senator Paterson said it’s clear the Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Precinct is exactly the type of project the Community Development Grants Program was designed for.

“There’s still a long way to go before we make this facility a reality but the feasibility study is a really important first step,” he said.

“What it provides is a comprehensive business plan covering market research, a review of indoor stadium trends as well as analysis of the economic and community benefits.

It will also enable to the community to provide their views about the indoor sports facilities they want in their region.”

Ms Millar said the coalition is very committed to grassroots sport.

“We are working very closely with the sporting groups and community behind this project, looking forward to the future and getting this project off the ground,” she said.

The feasibility study was a 2016 federal election promise from then Liberal candidate for Bendigo Megan Purcell which the government followed through with upon election.

Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Hub group member Tamara Collins said that commitment allowed them to show that indoor sport is a real issue in the region.

“We can’t wait another seven, eight or 10 years for this. This is something we need right now and we don’t expect council to be able to fund something like this,” she said.

“We’re talking about a big project that’s going to help health-wise for years to come.”

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