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Heavy machinery has begun working on the new netball courts as part of the $1 million upgrade at Lucknow Recreation Reserve.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester met with Tania McNamara and Stephen Bull from Lucknow Football and Netball Club to learn more about how the project would proceed.

“There will be many people at the club and the wider community who’ll be pleased to see work has begun on the netball courts,” Mr Chester said.

“The old courts had been deemed unsuitable by officials from Netball Victoria, so it was important for the safety of players and officials that this work was done.

“There will also be new sheltered areas for coaches, scorers and timekeepers.”

Mr Chester announced in May he had secured $500,000 from the Federal Government towards the upgrade at the recreation reserve. East Gippsland Shire Council will also provide funding and manage the project.

“I’m pleased the Federal Government has been able to provide funding through the Community Sport Infrastructure Grant program to finally get these works underway,” Mr Chester said.

“The new netball courts will encourage more women and girls to play netball in our community, promoting healthy active lifestyles.”

Mrs McNamara, a Lucknow Football and Netball Club committee member and life member, said the club hoped the new courts would help to create a family-friendly facility for netballers and their families in Bairnsdale’s east.

“We’re starting work on the netball courts now. We are also working with council on  upgrading the clubrooms to create a dedicated first aid room and better change room facilities,” Mrs McNamara said.

“This reserve is the main sporting and recreation facility in the eastern side of Bairnsdale. It’s home to a number of other groups including Lucknow Cricket Club, Bairnsdale Squash and Table Tennis Centre, and Bairnsdale and District Dog Obedience Club.

“The local community has been working with all levels of government for many years on this upgrade project, so this is an exciting time for many people to see construction work is now underway.”

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