$10m for sports precinct

Federal Labor has made a $10 million election promise to build the Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Precinct in New Gisborne.

If elected, Federal Labor say they will invest in a new and upgraded indoor and outdoor multi-sport facility.

This comes after Victorian Labor committed $11.6 million to the project, leading up to the state election in November 2018.

The precinct will require a total of $41.4m for construction, but could be constructed in two stages costing $31.4m and $10m respectively.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council has allocated $10 million to the project while AFL Victoria is contributing $100,000 in support.

Federal Shadow Minister for Sport Don Farrell, Member for McEwen Rob Mitchell and Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters met with members of the Macedon Ranges community to make the announcement on Friday.

Labor’s investment in stages one and two of the project will include a new all-weather synthetic oval, four indoor sport courts, two new tennis and netball courts, multi-purpose spaces for dance, martial arts and more.

Macedon Ranges regional sports hub member Megan Condron said the project started as a small concept between friends.

“We worked and campaigned and our voice grew. Once we joined forces with other groups we couldn’t be ignored,” Ms Condron said.

“We realised this wasn’t a regional issue just for basketball, it was also for netball, futsal, volleyball, badminton and it’s grown from there.

“We also needed space for school events, concerts and presentation nights – it’s going to be a multi-use space.”

Mr Farrell said the project was important for growth in the region.

“This part of Victoria is growing very fast. It’s important to have facilities for our kids and communities to keep up with the growth,” Mr Farrell said.

“A local dad was telling he that he used to drive his kids to Sunbury for sports. When we’ve completed this project he won’t have to do that anymore.”

Cricket Australia head of government relations and infrastructure Grant Poulter said his organisation had been heavily involved in the project.

“There’s been a lot done by the community but I think it’s also important to get state and national sporting bodies involved in projects like this,” Mr Poulter said.

“It’s a part of the state that’s having huge population growth and we’re seeing growth in cricket, particularly women’s cricket in this area.

“The fact you will have two new ovals with universal change rooms for boys and girls if fantastic.”