Dilapidated fences at Maffra Lawn Tennis Club will soon be replaced as part of a one million dollar Federal Government cash injection into Wellington Shire.
Local MP Darren Chester said $130,000 from the Federal Government would be spent erecting new fences at the club in Duke Street to stimulate spending and support local jobs in drought-affected areas.
“Maffra Lawn Tennis Club is a popular and active local club headed up by a hard-working and effective volunteer committee,” Mr Chester said.
“The drought has had a significant impact on towns and communities within Wellington Shire. There’s been a drop in visitor numbers over summer due to the bushfires, while the pandemic has put local businesses under further financial pressure.
“This funding package will help local groups to improve community facilities while also supporting Gippsland businesses and local jobs.”
Maffra Lawn Tennis Club president Terry Flynn said he hoped the new fencing would be installed before the start of the tennis season.
“We need to renew all of the internal and external fences,” Mr Flynn said. “Parts are clearly unsafe and we’ll finally be able to replace the chicken wire that’s been used in some sections.
“This is welcome news for our members after the disappointment of cancelling our annual Easter tournament. We’re making a gradual return to the courts and this news gives us another reason to look forward to next season when it begins in October.”
Wellington Shire Mayor Alan Hall said the projects to receive funding were identified as priorities in communities hardest hit by drought.
“A lot of work has already been done, so we can start work replacing the fences at the tennis club as soon as possible,” Cr Hall said. “This money from the Federal Government gives us a chance to undertake a number of significant projects now, so those communities can enjoy the benefits sooner.
“I’m particularly happy this money is helping communities that would otherwise struggle to raise the money needed to realise their plans for their local groups and clubs.”
The $1 million package to be spent in Wellington Shire also includes $250,000 for a bicycle pump track at Heyfield; $385,000 for Briagolong Recreation Reserve, including redeveloping the reserve’s open spaces and traffic management; $20,000 for the Heyfield Vintage Machinery Club multi-purpose shelter; and $240,000 for the Regent Theatre at Yarram.
Drought Communities Program funding is available to eligible councils, including Wellington Shire, East Gippsland Shire and Latrobe City, for local infrastructure projects and other drought-relief activities. The program provides short-term support, including by boosting local employment and procurement, while also addressing social and community needs.