Com­mit­ted cash for sport

Benalla Ensign - - VICTORIAN STATE ELECTION 2018 - By Si­mon Rup­pert

Benalla’s up and com­ing sport­ing su­per­stars are one step closer to hav­ing state-ofthe art fa­cil­i­ties with the an­nounce­ment of $500 000 in fund­ing from the Vic­to­rian Government.

Mem­ber for North­ern Vic­to­ria Ja­clyn Symes and La­bor Can­di­date for Euroa Fionna Dep­peler-Mor­ton joined Act­ing Mayor Peter Davis at the Arun­del St Oval on Fri­day to make the an­nounce­ment.

Cr Davis said it was fan­tas­tic that money was avail­able for the boys and girls of Benalla.

‘‘Any­body in Benalla that’s been here and driven past the oval on a Satur­day morn­ing when there’s 350 kids running around with no toi­let or chang­ing fa­cil­i­ties will know how im­por­tant this an­nounce­ment is,’’ Cr Davis said.

‘‘It’s fan­tas­tic that the government have put the money in as coun­cil can’t fund this type of thing from rates and charges.’’

The planned up­grades in­clude the re­moval of the old sta­bles, which flank the oval, which will be re­placed with a new multi-use sport­ing com­plex.

It will in­clude a new pavil­ion com­plete with fe­male friendly change rooms, um­pires rooms and can­teen.

The up­grades will al­low for a num­ber of sports clubs to utilise the oval in­clud­ing the Benalla and District Ju­nior Foot­ball League, the Benalla Bushrangers Cricket Club, the Benalla Saints Sports Club, and po­ten­tially Benalla Ban­dits Base­ball.

The new fa­cil­i­ties will en­sure that Benalla can be proud to host re­gional com­pe­ti­tions involving Wan­gar- atta and District Ju­nior Foot­ball League, Wan­garatta and District Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion, and North East Knights Fe­male Cricket, and could at­tract other com­pe­ti­tions and events.

Benalla and District Ju­nior Footy League pres­i­dent Dar­ren Skel­ton said the fund­ing would al­low plans to be fi­nalised mean­ing con­struc­tion could start as soon as pos­si­ble.

‘‘This is not an election com­mit­ment, this is com­mit­ted money,’’ Mr Skel­ton said.

‘‘This isn’t just about ju­nior footy, this is about sport in Benalla. If we build a fa­cil­ity that can cater for ju­nior footy and the needs we have, but also cater for cricket and other sports it’s just go­ing to be a great out­come for Benalla.’’

Fri­day’s an­nounce­ment was made in front of Benalla sport­ing club rep­re­sen­ta­tives, lo­cal school kids, Benalla Ru­ral City Coun­cil and com­mu­nity mem­bers.

In par­tic­u­lar this com­plex will ac­com­mo­date the grow­ing num­bers of woman and girls tak­ing up AFLW and en­sure they have equal ac­cess to ap­pro­pri­ate fa­cil­i­ties that al­low them to en­joy the sport they love and en­able Benalla to pro­duce more stars, like the re­cently drafted Becky Web­ster.

Ms Symes worked closely with the user groups and coun­cil dur­ing the plan­ning stage, and the Ju­nior Foot­ball Club is propos­ing to make a sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial and in-kind con­tri­bu­tion to the project, which will be trans­for­ma­tional to the Arun­del ovals precinct, at­tract­ing more sport­ing en­thu­si­asts and en­sur­ing that the grow­ing com­mu­nity has ac­cess to the best fa­cil­i­ties.

‘‘Con­grat­u­la­tions to all th­ese amaz­ing clubs and the Benalla com­mu­nity who have worked for years to get this project off the ground — I’m so proud that the La­bor Government is sup­port­ing this worth­while lo­cal project that will ben­e­fit our town for gen­er­a­tions,’’ Ms Symes said.

Ms Dep­peler-Mor­ton said this was an­other great ex­am­ple of how the State Government was mak­ing sport and re­cre­ation more ac­ces­si­ble in coun­try Vic­to­ria.

‘‘We know how im­por­tant this project is for the Benalla com­mu­nity and I’m proud as the La­bor can­di­date for Euroa that we are de­liv­er­ing this project,’’ Ms Dep­pel­erMor­ton said.

Out and about: Vic­to­rian Premier Daniel An­drews vis­ited Benalla on Mon­day to speak to con­stituents. He stopped by on his way to Wan­garatta Hos­pi­tal where he made a fund­ing an­nounce­ment.

In ac­tion: State Mem­ber for North­ern Vic­to­ria Ja­clyn Symes and La­bor Can­di­date for Euroa Fionna Dep­peler-Mor­ton hav­ing a kick of the footy after an­nounc­ing $500 000 in fund­ing for the de­vel­op­ment of the Arun­del St oval.

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