Ararat Rural City Council is seeking funding from the state government to enable a $3.1 million upgrade to Gordon Street Recreation Reserve.
Council resolved to submit an application for $2,550,000 from the Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program at its council meeting on Tuesday, January 19.
The federal government has already committed $400,000 to the project, and council has endorsed a $150,000 contribution from its own reserve.
Council previously applied for funding in June 2020.
While the application was unsuccessful, on December 18, 2020, Sport and Recreation Victoria invited council to resubmit the Gordon Street Recreation Reserve Redevelopment application to the new funding round.
At the council meeting, Ararat Rural City Council chief executive Dr Tim Harrison said the Gordon Street Reserve was the ideal candidate for such a major redevelopment.
"I was there today and the surface that we had re-irrigated not long ago is brilliant, it looks superb," he said.
"So I think it has the capacity to be of great value."
Cr Bob Sanders moved the motion to endorse the application.
"I'm very keen for this to go ahead," Cr Sanders said.
"I think for Ararat it's going to be a great sporting complex."
The planned redevelopment would include the oval presently being upgraded to AFL Women's training and playing competition standards; purpose-built AFLW clubrooms; two full-sized soccer fields; cricket and soccer change rooms; a turf cricket-wicket on a multi-purpose oval that will also be used for soccer; purpose-built Little Athletics facilities for high-jump, discus and javelin; and various precinct upgrades, such as 100 lux lighting, landscaping, walkways, and improved irrigation and drainage.
Dr Harrison said the AFLW facilities would help the project's chances of securing funds.
"It makes the application extremely strong because we do not cater for AFLW strong enough in Victoria."
Cr Peter Beales seconded the motion and praised the plans for the project.
"One of the things that impressed me about this project: it is relatively cheap," Cr Beales said.
"The Little Athletes are catered for as well, so it has a range of uses."
Construction would begin within six months of the state government awarding the project funding.
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