THE Labor Government is helping to drought-proof sport and recreation facilities across regional Victoria by ensuring there is reliable access to water even during drier times. Twenty-five projects across 11 municipalities will share in $2.3 million from the Sustainable Water Fund – Community Sport and Recreation Program. The Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Victoria, Danielle Green MP, visited Beaufort last week to announce two important projects for the Pyrenees Shire.
Ms Green said $67,491 had been approved for Beaufort Golf and Bowls Club towards the installation of a desalination plant. Beaufort Golf and Bowls Club has been forced to find alternative sources of water in previous years because of the high salt content in bore water.
In addition, Ms Green said $99,685 has been approved for Waubra Oval to provide a sustainable water supply as well as improvements to the playing surface. The works will include the installation of an efficient watering system and resowing with the most appropriate drought tolerant turf to meet Australian Football League standards. Ms Green said the Labor Government understands that sport and recreation facilities are important to rural towns. “I’ve seen first-hand the impacts of drought locally and I’m proud to be working with communities to ensure they get the support they need,” Ms Green said. “While recent rain is welcome, we are acting now to ensure Beaufort Golf and Bowls Club and Waubra Oval have a secure water supply into the future,” she said.
Water Minister, Lisa Neville, said sporting clubs are often cornerstone of local communities and a meeting place for locals of all ages. “Local sport grounds are critical for the wellbeing of communities, particularly in times of drought, so it’s great to be able to provide more water security to ensure they remain open even in dry periods,” Ms Neville said. Pyrenees Shire Mayor, Ron Eason, said he was delighted the two projects had been approved. “We are always happy to work with the Victorian Government on projects like these which ultimately keep our local sporting clubs active and viable,” Cr Eason said.
The grants form part of the Victorian Government’s $10 million Drought Support Fund announced in April 2016.
The use of the fund was informed by extensive stakeholder consultation which indicated strong support for measures that focussed on community health and wellbeing and preparedness to deal with the impacts of drought. Victoria’s new Water Plan – Water for Victoria acknowledges the importance securing water for a range of purposes – include community and recreational activities – and being ready for extended dry periods.