Deloraine recreation precinct proposal to be put to council

STUDY: The proposal outlines a three-phase construction process.
STUDY: The proposal outlines a three-phase construction process.

A $25.8 million feasibility study for a new Deloraine recreation precinct will be brought to Tuesday’s Meander Valley Council meeting. 

The feasibility study for the proposed Deloraine and Districts Recreational Centre puts forward a preferred option for the project, with work over three phases. 

The $98,000 study, written by The Working Group, was commissioned in April 2017 and was co-funded by the council, state government and Bendigo Bank. 

It’s important for people to be able to continue in recreational activities.

Meander Valley mayor Craig Perkins

Meander Valley mayor Craig Perkins said the study was initiated by the Deloraine community. 

“The recreational users of Deloraine have come together to say some of the facilities are starting to age and they want to know if [the council] were to go about renewal, what would that look like?,” he said.

“It’s important for people to be able to continue in recreational activities.

“It’s important we’re able to provide these sort of facilities.”

Phase one of the proposed project would see construction of an indoor sports court, an outdoor multi-sport field, function space, and car parking.

The first phase would roll out over a five-year period, costing $13.2 million. 

The second and third phase, occurring over the following five-to-ten years, would include a secondary outdoor sports field, game support, a health and wellness centre and an outdoor precinct centre at a cost of $13.6 million. 

Cr Perkins said there was still more work to be done before the council committed to a project of this size.

“I think it would be fair to say that the council, if we accepted the feasibility study, would not be able to fund it alone – we’d need to seek external support to do it,” he said.

“We also have to go through a process to understand the cost to users –  if it’s going to be a user-pays [centre] – and what that might look like. 

“If it’s not going to be users-pays, what financial impact would that have on ratepayer base generally?”

“We need to work through some of those finer details.”

Cr Perkins said the next step for the project, if the feasibility study is accepted by the council, is to engage in extensive community feedback on the proposal.