- Deputy Premier announces funding of $500,000 to upgrade Ballarat’s Victoria Park
- $1 million project will deliver new barbecue facilities, toilet upgrades, seating, shelters, unstructured play space, paths and car parking
- Victorian Coalition Government investing in community infrastructure in Ballarat
A $1 million upgrade of Ballarat’s Victoria Park will make the park more accessible for the local community, families, schools and people with a disability, including students from the nearby Ballarat Specialist School.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan was in Ballarat today to announce the Victorian Coalition Government would invest $500,000 from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund to support the Victoria Park Infrastructure Upgrade project.
Mr Ryan was joined at today’s event by Member for Western Victoria Region Simon Ramsay, The Nationals candidate for Ripon Scott Turner, Liberal candidate for Buninyong Ben Taylor and Liberal candidate Wendouree Craig Coltman.
Mr Ryan said the improvements would be carried out at the northern end of Victoria Park, close to Ballarat’s Lake Wendouree, and would include new barbecue facilities, toilet upgrades, seating, shelters, an early childhood and all-abilities play area, new paths and car parking.
“Ballarat’s Victoria Park and the nearby Lake Wendouree are equivalent in size to New York’s Central Park, and being located where they are, so close to the centre of town, is something truly unique in a city the size of Ballarat,” Mr Ryan said.
“While Victoria Park is well-used by local sporting clubs, it has lacked the basic infrastructure needed to attract families, picnickers, walkers or those seeking a day out.
“This investment will fill the gaps in Victoria Park’s infrastructure to ensure it once again becomes a popular local visitor destination.”
Mr Ryan said that by attracting more visitors to Victoria Park, particularly on weekends, pop-up businesses such as coffee and food vans would be attracted to the park, further enhancing its appeal, while nearby retail businesses would also benefit from the influx of visitors.
“This investment will also ensure Victoria Park continues to support the growing suburbs of Alfredton, Lucas, and Delacombe, as well as nearby schools including Loreto College, St Patricks College and Urquhart Park Primary School,” Mr Ryan said.
Mr Ryan said a key feature of the new park was the unstructured play area, which is being designed for people with a disability as well as young children.
“The new all abilities and unstructured play areas will provide an ideal setting for students from the nearby Ballarat Specialist School to enjoy time outside the classroom,” Mr Ryan said.
“Designs for the new play area will be further developed by council over the coming months, but are likely to include areas where children’s imaginations can run free, including sand areas, open grassland, rocks and boulders, treehouses, sculptures, as well as traditional play equipment such as swings, including wheelchair accessible swings, flying foxes and climbing walls.”
Mr Ryan thanked the City of Ballarat for driving the upgrades to Victoria Park and contributing $400,000 to the total project cost. He also thanked philanthropic group, Touched by Olivia Foundation, which contributed the remaining $100,000 to help make the project a reality.
“This investment is another example of the Coalition Government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund enabling local government and community groups to develop much-needed local infrastructure projects,” Mr Ryan said.
“This project is one of almost 1,500 projects across regional and rural Victoria to benefit from the Regional Growth Fund, which has now invested more than $400 million directly into local communities, leveraging well over $1.6 billion in total investment.”
Mr Ryan said the Victoria Park Infrastructure Upgrade project would be completed by March next year.
Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731