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Council agrees to fund up to $7M for join community sporting facilities in Junortoun

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The City of Greater Bendigo has agreed to allocate up to $7M to the development of a Joint Use sporting and community facility at the Catherine McAuley College Coolock Campus in Junortoun.

The funding allocation is a significant step towards the establishment of the Joint Sporting Precinct and work is ongoing to finalise the details of the partnership in the coming months. Mercy Education (who operate the College) and the City are progressing negotiations to enter into a joint use and development agreement prior to the development proceeding.

Over the past 18 months City staff, Catherine McAuley College, Mercy Education, Sport and Recreation Victoria and Cricket Victoria have been working in partnership to plan and design a joint use sporting and community facility.

The proposed facilities would be shared between the College and the City outside school hours to cater for a range of community and sporting activities including but not limited to football, soccer, cricket, netball and basketball, community/club space and the future home of the Northern Rivers Regional Cricket Hub and Cricket Victoria’s Regional Office.

The City will contribute $7M toward the construction of the joint use facilities in Stage 1 and contribute a fifty per cent share of the ongoing operational costs of the joint use areas. Mercy Education Limited and Catherine McAuley College will contribute the balance of construction and ongoing maintenance costs as an equal cost share for the joint facilities.  The project also received a grant of $500,000 from the State Government Sport and Recreation Victoria Community Cricket Program Grant.

This stage of the project will include the construction of:

  • Two sports ovals for a variety of green field sports
  • Two synthetic cricket pitches
  • Two netball courts
  • Lighting for training on all sports surfaces
  • Internal road access and car parking
  • Multipurpose community and sporting facilities featuring social room/community space, kitchen/kiosk, player and umpire change rooms and amenities, visitor amenities, storage, first aid room, administration hub, accessible toilet and change room and external viewing areas

Catherine McAuley College will also construct:

  • Indoor Cricket training facilities
  • Indoor multisport stadium with two basketball courts
  • Northern Rivers Regional Cricket administrative hub featuring reception and storage, School PE store, school staff work space and accessible toilet and change facilities.

Catherine McAuley College has established a relationship with Cricket Victoria and agreed to the development of the Northern Rivers Regional Cricket Hub at the same location.  The City has supported this initiative by successfully securing $500,000 from the Victorian State Government through the Sport and Recreation Victoria Community Cricket Program on behalf of the college.

The project also envisages a future Stage 2 subject to service demand.  Stage 2 is yet to be funded and agreed to by all partners but would likely include two additional sports ovals, senior club change rooms and amenities, umpire change rooms, trainers’ rooms, social/community space, storage, external viewing areas and visitor amenities.

City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke said the new facilities will be designed to be shared by both the community and the school.

“During school hours the facilities will be used by the school and after school hours it will be available for the community like the recent joint development undertaken by the City and Marist College in Maiden Gully.  It’s really exciting for both the school and the wider community,” Cr O’Rourke said.

“Junortoun is a growing part of Greater Bendigo and the community need access to great facilities like this development.  Junortoun has a growth rate of 4.04 per cent while Strathfieldsaye has a growth rate of 4.59 per cent.”

“As the population of Greater Bendigo continues to grow so does the demand for sporting and community facilities throughout the City with additional pressure in growth areas like Strathfieldsaye and Junortoun.” 

“By sharing costs, we reduce the overall cost to the community and improve the quality of local facilities. It’s a win-win situation.”

Catherine McAuley College Principal Brian Turner said he acknowledged Council’s decision as a major milestone in the life of the project:

“The Joint Sporting Precinct has been imagined, from day one, as a vibrant community asset that will activate this site seven days a week, sixteen hours a day.  We are very grateful to Council for their leadership and agency on behalf of the many local sporting clubs that will benefit from these facilities,” Mr Turner said.

“Council has been closely involved in the design of the joint sporting precinct concept and yesterday’s decision is a great vote of confidence in what we are trying to achieve here.”

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