Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester says he’s optimistic that a million dollar plan to redevelop recreation facilities at Mallacoota will receive additional Federal Government support.
Mr Chester has previously met with local residents and is supportive of an East Gippsland Shire Council funding bid for $750,000 to improve facilities for locals and visitors.
During last year’s Federal election campaign, Mr Chester announced $250,000 towards the redevelopment of the Mallacoota Recreation Reserve.
The community has since been working with various government departments to source additional funds to complete the project, which will include new clubrooms, toilets and other amenities.
“This is an important project and I’ve made my support clear to the Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash, who has responsibility for the Building Better Regions Fund,” Mr Chester said.
“The shire has made a bid for additional funding to allow more work to be carried out at the same time and I’m optimistic that the application will be successful in the coming weeks.
“Providing better sporting, recreation and community facilities in regional areas is a priority for the government and Mallacoota is uniquely located in our state.
“We need to provide good services for locals and at the same time, accommodate the demands of the thousands of visitors who are important for jobs and the regional economy.”
Paul Preston, from the Mallacoota Recreation Reserve Committee of Management, said the community had been working for five years to get to this stage and was grateful for Mr Chester’s support.
“He arranged a meeting for us late last year so we could discuss this project with Minister Fiona Nash to make sure she understood the challenges of our location and the importance of high quality facilities at the recreation reserve,” Mr Preston said.
“We have continued to work with the shire and with the Federal Government and we are hopeful that those assessing our current application for additional funding will recognise the benefits this project can deliver to local business and the tourism industry, as well as providing a community assembly point in times of natural disaster.
“This is a project that will deliver long-lasting benefits right across the Mallacoota community and we are hopeful our application will be approved so works can commence.”