COALITION TO FUND ALL ABILITIES PLAYGROUND IN EAST GIPPSLAND
Stephanie Ryan - Tuesday, November 23, 2010
East Gippsland will receive $500,000 for the development of an All Abilities playground if the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition forms government in Saturday’s State election.
Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan, together with The Nationals candidate for Gippsland East Tim Bull and Liberal candidate for Gippsland East Sonia Buckley, today announced funding for the project to be developed at Davison Oval in Bairnsdale.
“The funding is part of a $100 million Putting Locals First Fund, derived from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, to invigorate local communities by breaking down key disadvantages in regional and rural areas,” Mr Ryan said.
“Targeted funding under this program will support key projects that energise local communities, business and volunteer groups, creating more local jobs and a better quality of life for local people.
“The Bairnsdale All Abilities Playground fits the bill perfectly because it will encourage the travelling public to stop in Bairnsdale and support local businesses, while also providing a venue for active outdoor recreation for local families.”
Mr Ryan said East Gippsland Shire Council had contributed more than $400,000 towards the cost of the playground, which will be in excess of $1 million, with an additional $50,000 raised within the local community to date.
“The Coalition’s contribution is intended to leverage additional assistance from all other available sources to make the project a reality. No doubt the East Gippsland All Abilities playground committee will be active in its endeavours to raise the balance,” Mr Ryan said.
The Liberal Party candidate for Gippsland East Sonia Buckley said the playground project had a great deal of community support and would be a focal point for local families.
“It is more than a playground because many of the design features have been made accessible for people with special needs,” Ms Buckley said.
The Nationals Candidate for Gippsland East Tim Bull said the playground would allow children with special needs to actively engage with other children, while other features would provide additional benefits to the local community.
“Apart from playground equipment with an East Gippsland theme, the playground will include a barbecue and picnic area to encourage people to take a short break in Bairnsdale. I’m confident that economic benefits will flow to local businesses as a result of this development,” Mr Bull said.
“Seeing the many benefits this wonderful initiative potentially has to offer is what convinced me to actively support the playground development, together with so many other members of our local community.”