Four Colac Otway projects given state funding nod

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Sports and Recreation Pillar

Major investments at Colac’s Western Reserve, Central Reserve, Memorial Square and the Forrest Mountain Bike Trails are a step closer after the Colac Otway Shire Council shortlisted the projects for State funding last week.

The four projects have been endorsed by Colac Otway Shire Councillors as the Shire’s 2019/20 applications to Sport and Recreation Victoria’s (SRV) Community Sports Infrastructure Fund and Female Friendly Facilities Fund.

Combined, the decision will see the Colac Otway Shire apply for more than $1 million from SRV to potentially complete over $2 million of works across the four sporting and recreation precincts.

Mayor Joe McCracken said the Colac Otway Shire  was blessed with many worthy projects that were strong cases for funding.

“It’s really important that the projects we put forward are pretty much shovel ready, that matching funding can be provided and that the proposed outcomes of the works are in line with the objectives of SRV,” he said.

“The State Government wants to support projects that most closely align with the objectives of its grant programs and it’s the Colac Otway Shire's job to develop these projects, with the community, and put them forward for consideration.

“Three of the four projects we’ve decided on are Council priority projects as well, which strengthens their chances of being considered favourably.”

The Forrest project would see a new 2.5 to 3.0km mountain bike flow trail constructed down the large east-facing slope of Forrest, with a number of advanced alternate routes included to challenge riders. This is a G21 priority under its Great Ocean Road Priority Project.

Central Reserve would undergo a major lighting upgrade to both the football and netball facilities to bring both up to match standard, in addition to the construction of new netball courts. This is a G21 Priority under its Addressing Disadvantage Priority Project.

At Memorial Square in Colac, the playground would be upgraded with a new regional-level playspace in accordance with the 2017 master plan. It would include play elements for toddler, junior and senior age groups, bench seating, planter boxes, picnic tables, natural shade and universal access.

At the Western Reserve, the ground would receive a total overhaul, with new drainage, irrigation and turf work in addition to a lighting upgrade. The work would not only improve the ground but help it cope with the increased use generated by the successful women’s AFL competitions it now hosts.

Colac Otway Shire Council has partnered with SRV on many occasions in past years to deliver redevelopment projects including the Cororooke tennis courts, Gellibrand playspace, the Birregurra netball and tennis courts and many others.

“We have a good track record for putting our best foot forward with our SRV applications. We will continue to work hard to maximise our chances of securing important State Government funds to help maintain and improve public sport and recreation infrastructure for our communities,” he said.

Source: Colac Otway Shire media release