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Leisure spending at forefront of party promises in Victorian election

Leisure spending at forefront of party promises in Victorian election
November 26, 2014

With the Victorian State election just days away, both major political parties have been making funding pledges for a range of leisure projects.

With leisure funding commitments having become an increasingly prominent part of Federal and State election campaigns, the Victorian election has been no exception, with both the incumbent Coalition and the opposition Labor party backing a range of activity, recreation, sport and venue projects.

Pledges by Premier Denis Napthine include $24 million for six community sporting venues across the city of Ballarat, with $15 million of the commitment to go towards the redevelopment and expansion of the Wendouree Sports and Events Centre.

The development includes six additional multi purpose courts, with a 3,000 seat elite show court able to cater for major music and other events.

Dr Napthine has also said he would allocate $3.4 million to extend the Ride2School program across Victoria, $3.4 million to provide financial support to community sporting clubs and families to offset costs of sports uniforms and $1.8 million to the Summer Kidz water safety program.

Another Coalition pledge is a $20 million commitment to a $59 million redevelopment of Melbourne's Junction Oval (pictured below) that would see St Kilda Football Club return to their historic home after a 50-year absence.

The plan backed by Dr Napthine is for Junction Oval to become a Sheffield Shield venue, while the adjoining Ian Johnson Oval would be an upgraded state-of-the-art training facility for the St Kilda Football Club

Labor leader Daniel Andrews has also backed the redevelopment of Junction Oval but with a greater emphasis on cricket, meaning a return to the venue by St Kilda would be less likely under Labor.

Echoing a commitment by former Premier John Brumby during Labor's unsuccessful 2010 election campaign, the landmark ground will be converted into a 5,000-seat boutique stadium to host first-class domestic matches while new elite state training facilities including an indoor centre would be established.

Labor has also promised $13.4 million to save the crumbling Palais Theatre as part of a much-needed $26.7 million restoration of the Art Deco venue.

Daniel Andrews has also pledged to provide 1,000 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to Victorian sporting clubs and facilities if Labor wins election.Daniel Andrews has also pledged to provide 1,000 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to Victorian sporting clubs and facilities if Labor wins election.




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