May 25, 2015
Construction of a $13 million redevelopment of the Port of Sale will commence in one month.
Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said a $4.5 million grant from the Federal Government to redevelop the building into a library and community hub meant construction could begin on July 1.
“This project is shovel-ready and right to start immediately,” Mr. Chester said.
The Port redevelopment will include a new public library and art gallery and a new regional play space to be built next to the existing skate park.
Mr. Chester said the project would create an immediate jobs boost and generate economic growth in the longer term.
“The Port Precinct project will create around 27 full time jobs during the construction phase and a further eight ongoing jobs staffing the new café and associated catering business once complete,” Mr. Chester said.
“The new Sale public library and Gippsland Art Gallery will each be twice the size of their current premises, with improved amenities that make them much more user-friendly.
“The external upgrades will include a regional play space next to the skate park, pedestrian walkways and a public plaza.”
Wellington Shire Council Mayor, Cr Carolyn Crossley, said Council was proud that the project had gained support from the Federal Government in addition to the State.
“Redevelopment of the Port of Sale Precinct has been on the community wish-list for many years. Securing funding from all levels of government, in addition to availability of the Desailly Street building and subsequent relocation of Council staff, has enabled this long hoped for project to become a reality,” Cr Crossley said.
“Our staff is relocated, we’re ready to begin redevelopment of the interior space; and we look forward to commencing consultation with the community as we prepare plans for the exterior precinct.”
The total project cost is $13.7 million, which includes $10.7 million for the redevelopment of the building and a new library; $3 million for surrounding land and Port of Sale Precinct projects.
As well as the Federal Government’s $4.5 million from the National Stronger Regions Fund, the Victorian Government is providing $4.75 million from the Regional Growth Fund and Living Libraries Infrastructure Fund; the John Leslie Foundation is contributing $1.5 million and Wellington Shire Council a further $2.95 million.
CAPTION: The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester looks through plans for the new library and community centre to be built at the Port of Sale with Wellington Shire Mayor Carolyn Crossley and Chief Executive Officer David Morcom.