Victoria Shadow Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan
Victoria Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu
VIC Coalition Pledges $1 Million To Upgrade Bendigo’s Queen Elizabeth Oval
Victor P Taffa
A Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government will provide $1 Million to upgrade Bendigo’s famous Queen Elizabeth Oval (QEO) and the neighbouring Sports Precinct.
Shadow Minister for Regional and Rural Development and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan said the funding will support and encourage broad participation in a variety of sports in Bendigo and help secure major sporting events for the oval.
“The QEO was once the proud jewel in the crown for Victorian Country Sport but Bendigo was unable to host most 2009 and 2010 VFL games because of the sub-standard oval surface, much to the disappointment of players and local footy fans.” Mr. Ryan said.
“The poor state of the QEO also jeopardised AFL pre-season games being hosted in Bendigo.
“The Coalition’s $1 Million commitment for the QEO, funded out of the Regional Growth Fund, will complement community, council and government funding for the upgrade of the QEO’s playing surface to ensure Bendigo can once again enjoy a premium sporting facility.”
The Coalition’s commitment will fund the surface upgrade, as well as:
- Reconfiguring the QEO;
- Building two coaches’ boxes to State League Standard;
- Replacing unsightly and dangerous spectator shelters with more suitable terraces on either side of the ground;
- Establishing a second netball court complete with spectator seating in line with the precinct’s master plan;
- Rectifying faults with the main electronic scoreboard, which has failed for most of this year and which council has not been able to afford to repair.
Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Leader Ted Baillieu said the Coalition would also commit $50,000 towards a Council scoping study for a new Community Centre adjacent to the QEO.
“The Community Centre has the Potential to include a Function Room, Conference Facilities and Administration Offices, while the study will also look at the best Management Models for the Precinct.” Mr. Baillieu said.
“At the Neighbouring Sports Precinct, the Extension of the Existing Netball Courts will enable future growth of Netball in Bendigo to ensure the City can continue to host Local Netball Tournaments.”
Mr. Baillieu said although the City of Greater Bendigo and the Federal Government had committed funding towards QEO resurfacing works, John Brumby had not been listening to the requests for support from the Bendigo sporting community.
“The QEO has been ignored for far too long and remains the only VFL Ground yet to receive State Government Funding for Surface and Facilities Upgrades.” Mr. Baillieu said.
“Bendigo has been unsuccessful in repeated applications for grants and funding, even though John Brumby has known about the declining state of the QEO for at least 18 months.”
“The state of the QEO and the city’s inability to attract and maintain high-level competition has caused embarrassment and disappointment amongst Bendigo’s sporting community.”
“The Coalition’s pledge, which comes after months of detailed talks between the Coalition and QEO stakeholders, will help end that embarrassment by restoring Bendigo’s premier sporting ground.” Mr. Baillieu said.
Mr. Ryan said the Coalition’s $1 Million pledge built on the City of Greater Bendigo’s Master Plan for the QEO, which was supported by the City of Greater Bendigo, the Bendigo Bank and Football Bodies across Bendigo.
“The QEO resurfacing and capital works will also prompt further investigation of future development of areas adjacent to the QEO, including the former municipal baths site which is now choked with reeds and refuse.” Mr. Ryan said.
“One suggestion is that the precinct be redeveloped as an improved wetland area with boardwalk connections.”
Mr. Ryan said the $1 Million funding announcement reaffirmed the Coalition’s commitment to sporting enthusiasts in Bendigo and its plan to reinvigorate Victorian Country Sport more broadly.
“Under a Coalition Government, Bendigo will once again be able to host Premier Sporting events, increase participation, and generate additional revenue into the City.” Mr. Ryan said.
Editor Victor P Taffa supports AFL Football being hosted for Premiership Points in Newcastle. The benefits of this to Newcastle will result in improved Sporting Facilities and a greater awareness of AFL Football. Some people have scoffed at the idea however these very same people are happy to accept Young Footballers playing on sub-standard Grounds. Two Full Rounds of the Black Diamond AFL Competition was washed out in Season 2010. Editor Victor P Taffa also supports improvements being made at all Black Diamond venues.