Waiting game

By Jackson Russell

The community is playing a waiting game for Federal Government funding for the Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Precinct.

The State Government delivered on its $11.6 million election commitment, including the project in last month’s State Budget.

The shovel-ready project is now waiting on $10 million of federal funding before any works can start.

The sports precinct is a dual project in New Gisborne with a four-court basketball stadium, including a show court and rooms for various other sports and an outdoor component with two sports fields, one grass and one synthetic, as well as netball and tennis courts.

Member for McEwen Rob Mitchell said he had already started advocating to the Federal Government.

“This is a shovel-ready project that can be done, and can be done very easily and very quickly. The only hold up has been the Federal Government,” he said.

“They not only knocked it back for funding this year through official programs, they didn’t even make a commitment to it in the election.

“I’ve written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying here it is, ready to go.

“Now the State Government has actually put the money on the table, there is nothing stopping the Federal Government from investing this $10 million and getting the project done.”

Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Precinct spokesperson Tamara Collins said it was deflating not to receive a commitment from the Federal Government but was hopeful the community could meet with Minister for Sport Richard Colbeck.

“We’d love to hear from him and see what he can do to help us get the extra $10 million that will mean both projects can get up and going,” she said.

“We can’t finish both projects without that $10 million so it’s crucial to the whole puzzle really.”

“We’re keen to continue to work with council towards a solution to get that funding, be it through grants or whatever.”

Minister for Sport Richard Colbeck was approached for comment but did not respond before deadline.