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Mernda facility’s future secure

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The Mernda Regional Aquatic and Sports Centre’s future appears secure after Labor candidate for Yan Yean Lauren Kathage last week announced $20 million for the project if elected.

The money committed would go towards eight outdoor multipurpose courts, as well as an indoor stadium housing six multipurpose indoor courts.

The pledge follows Liberal candidate for Yan Yean Richard Welch’s $15 million election commitment towards the centre in September.

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The centre is envisioned as a state-of-the-art facility providing a place for children to learn swimming skills and offering families and sporting clubs a space to play and train.

Ms Kathage said local clubs worked hard to fundraise for better facilities for their teams, but that as more families struggled to make ends meet, clubs could not always rely on the generosity of their members.

“As a mum, I know how important it is for kids to have access to great indoor and outdoor courts. Sporting facilities and aquatic centres are at the heart of local communities, and this new centre is a huge win for Mernda and Doreen,” she said.

“That’s why I’m so thrilled that a re-elected Labor government will back local families with up to $20 million towards the new Regional Aquatic and Sports Centre in Mernda.”

City of Whittlesea chair administrator Lydia Wilson welcomed the announcement, which she said would support support the physical and mental health of the region.

“The facility will be council’s largest single investment in social infrastructure, and we cannot deliver it in isolation,” she said.

“We have been strongly advocating for funding support from the state and federal governments and we welcome today’s announcement which is a direct result of this advocacy.

“The delivery of the outdoor multipurpose courts and indoor stadium will not only address our region’s current deficit of netball and basketball courts but also help boost sporting participation rates in our community, particularly for women and girls.”

City of Whittlesea chair administrator Lydia Wilson celebrates election commitments for the Mernda Regional Aquatic and Sports Centre with young athletes from the region. ​

Council is currently working on phase one of the project, which will prepare the site for construction to commence on the indoor stadium and outdoor multipurpose courts.

Future phases of the project will include a 50-metre multipurpose pool, warm water, teaching and leisure pools, gymnasium and health consultancy suites.

Ms Kathage said Labor had invested more than $1.6 billion to upgrade and improve local recreation reserves and sports grounds since forming government in 2014.

Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence said the government provided grants for better courts and grounds, new scoreboards, lighting upgrades and changing facilities for clubs across Victoria.

“Every parent wants to see their kids active and engaged – local sporting clubs are the heart of so many communities,” she said.

“We’re proud to be injecting new life into local communities through contributions towards modern, accessible infrastructure including indoor aquatic leisure centres, bowls centres and more.”

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