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City of Melbourne recreation and community facilities get funding boost

City of Melbourne recreation and community facilities get funding boost
May 10, 2019

The City of Melbourne will invest $19 million in capital works projects to improve community facilities over the coming year, including plans to revitalise sporting and recreational facilities, family services and children’s centres.

This year’s draft Annual Plan and Budget 2019/20 includes $1 million included towards planning and design works for a new Kensington Community Recreation Centre, which is expected to open in 2022.

Acting Melbourne Lord Mayor Arron Wood, and Chair of the People City portfolio, Councillor Beverley Pinder, today announced that the City of Melbourne plans to invest more than $120 million in community facilities over the next four years.

Acting Lord Mayor Wood stated “the existing recreation centre building has served the Kensington community since 1976 and needs to be replaced. We will build a new state-of-the-art facility that meets the community’s needs while ensuring it remains affordable and accessible for all users.

“Plans for the new two-level facility include refurbishing the 25 metre pool to be fully accessible, adding a new pool deck and hall, wet and dry change facilities, multipurpose courts, larger gymnasium facilities, program and consulting rooms, a cafe and administration offices.”

The acting Lord Mayor said the full $40 million redevelopment would be subject to approval by a future decision by Council, adding “while this is a significant investment, we know that the average Australian visits a public aquatic facility 4.4 times a year, with the average aquatic facility creating $2.7 million a year in value to the community. The new facility is expected to achieve an operating surplus within its first year of operation.”

Advising that the investment in planning for a new recreation centre recognises Council’s role in delivering quality community services for the growing city, Councillor Pinder went on to say “through our extensive community engagement, we’ve heard that the community wants a bigger and better centre that is environmentally sustainable, with more flexible spaces, improved change areas and parent facilities.”

The draft Budget includes $9.3 million to complete the redevelopment of Lady Huntingfield Children’s Centre and $1.8 million for the fit-out of the $70 million Munro development in the Queen Victoria Market precinct.

The Acting Lord Mayor said the draft Budget will also include $1.5 million towards upgrading pavilions at four ovals, going on to say “we will invest $800,000 on designs for the renewal of the Brens, Ryder and Western Oval sporting pavilions in Royal Park, with construction expected to start in 2021. A further $750,000 will be spent to upgrade the Northern Sports Pavilion in Fawkner Park.

“We’re planning for more inclusive, comfortable, safe and fit-for-purpose facilities including upgraded change rooms and umpire facilities, improved lighting, kitchen areas, storage and social club spaces.

“We have 375 community teams using our sporting facilities each week. This includes 90 teams made up of women and girls, which is phenomenal growth in just a few short years.

“We’re investing in women’s and community sport to diversify our facilities to encourage even more women and girls to take marks and hit sixes.”

The draft Budget also includes $450,000 to help improve food handling at sporting clubs, $360,000 for renewing the Princes Hill tennis courts, and $210,000 for outdoor sports equipment.

Councillor Pinder said other community services would also receive a funding boost, including funding for community meals, maternal and child health service, and Council’s response to homelessness.

Public submissions on the draft Annual Plan and Budget 2019/20 are open from today until Friday 7th June.

Submissions will be considered at a special meeting of the Future Melbourne Committee on Thursday 13th June 2019.

Click here to participate. 

Image shows the soon to be upgraded Princes Hill tennis courts.

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