THE Andrews Labor Government is upgrading Ballarat’s Eureka Stadium precinct, giving families more space for sport and ensuring Ballarat can host the big sporting events. On Tuesday Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Sport, John Eren, joined Member for Wendouree, Sharon Knight, Member for Buninyong, Geoff Howard, and President of Western Bulldogs Football Club, Peter Gordon, at Eureka Stadium to confirm the $31.5 million funded in the 2015-16 Victorian Budget will flow from 1 July, 2015, with $2.5 million already fast-tracked so the project can start sooner.
It includes $15 million for Eureka Stadium, $9 million for Wendouree Sports and Events Centre, $5 million for the Ballarat Showgrounds upgrade and $2.5 million towards C.E Brown Reserve. The Labor Government is getting on with delivering the redevelopment, with governance arrangements already in place and a Stakeholder Community Advisory Committee established to coordinate the master plan for the precinct. With funds set to flow from 1 July, the City of Ballarat has also appointed two architects – local firm Morton Dunn Architects, and Queenslandbased firm Populous, which developed the concept plan for Metricon Stadium – to review the precinct’s master plan.
The Labor Government’s plan for Eureka Stadium includes new lighting, spectator seating and a video scoreboard, giving Ballarat the world-class stadium it deserves. It will allow the Western Bulldogs to play AFL home-and-away matches in Ballarat, meaning more tourists and a stronger local economy. “We promised to give this world-class city a world-class stadium and we’re getting on with it,” the Premier said, while Mr Eren added, “Big sporting events keep our businesses busy and our local economies strong – and that means jobs for Victorians.” Local venues like C.E Brown Reserve and the Wendouree Sports and Events Centre connect our suburbs and towns, giving families the chance to socialise and kids the experiences that stay with them for life. We’ve fasttracked funding, so that the C.E Brown Reserve project can begin sooner. The Labor Government’s $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund is supporting projects like Eureka Stadium to boost business and bring more visitors to regional Victoria. “Ballarat has a proud history of producing AFL stars. We’re making sure the game grows so our local clubs can continue to produce the next sporting legends,” Geoff Howard added. Western Bulldogs President Peter Gordon said the club would be opening an office in Ballarat, which would be staffed by local people, “They will be engaged in activities of a community based football club,” he said. “We run a number of programs in the western regions of Melbourne – the Men’s Health Program is a world leader, and we will introduce that to Ballarat, we have a schools program – introducing health, nutrition and physical education programs to kids, and we want to introduce that to Ballarat, as well, and in addition we will be doing our membership services and marketing to business.”