01
May
2019
|
07:37
Australia/Melbourne

Statement on Baranduda Fields

Comments have been made under parliamentary privilege regarding Baranduda Fields and in our community’s interest, there is a need and a responsibility to ensure the facts are also in the public realm.

Baranduda Fields has been a long-term project for our city, to cater for our city’s growth, for multiple council groups as well as our sporting and community groups.

In summary:

  • Baranduda Fields was close to breaking ground in 2017 but was stopped at the behest of this council;
  • Baranduda Fields is in our long-term capital plan and due to start in 2020-2021; and,
  • Baranduda Fields, as per a council resolution, has always remained, and been discussed, as a priority for this council.

The Baranduda Fields sporting precinct has been a part of this council’s planning since 2002.

While it will cater for our future growth in the Leneva-Baranduda growth corridor, it will also alleviate demand on our present sporting grounds, in particular for soccer and Australian Rules in the initial stages, but potentially also rugby league.

In 2016 the council missed out on $10 million from the National Stronger Regions Fund and at the council’s December meeting in 2016, the record shows Mr Quilty supported the decision to “not proceed to construction of the Baranduda Fields stage one project until further funding is secured”.

As part of the final motion passed, councillors also authorised the Mayor and CEO to continue to seek future funding and support from government and private enterprise.

While Baranduda Fields did not proceed at that time, it has remained a priority project when talking to governments and work began on the detailed design and review of the master plan.

In March 2018, councillors moved a motion that the updated draft Baranduda Fields be put out to the public for feedback and the results brought back to a future council meeting. The motion was carried and in December 2018, the draft master plan was presented back to the council for adoption. The plan was unanimously adopted.

With the remit of the council, through the 2016 resolution, we have continued to lobby all levels of government for funding to kick off Baranduda Fields.

In last year’s budget, adopted by the council, the long-term capital plan allocated funding to start Baranduda Fields in 2020-2021.

This year, with the federal election looming, we were actively working, at the request of and with local sporting clubs, to lobby to bring attention to Baranduda Fields with the hope of securing funding.

In line with the 2016 resolution passed by council, the detailed designs are now complete, the master plan reviewed and adopted, and funding secured and the council is able to proceed with construction.

While lobbying for a regional deal, in providing information to councillors listing priority projects of this council as recently as March, Baranduda Fields has continued to feature prominently if not at the top of the list.

Each week, councillors are updated by the Mayor and CEO on meetings held at a federal, state and local level, meetings with ministers, their staff and local stakeholder groups are listed and discussed.

In the lead-up to the federal election, councillors have met with candidates to discuss the council’s priorities and key issues with Baranduda Fields being raised each time.

The initial works at Baranduda Fields will involve civil works and the bringing in of power, water and internal roads to service the site.

The recent announcement that $10 million has been included in the 2019-2020 Federal budget for Baranduda Fields is great news for our community and allows us to start works on this regionally significant project.

Council and key stakeholder support will see playing pitches come out of the ground on the site.

But the reality is that it will be up to two years before the first game is played at Baranduda Fields.

This is a multi-generational project that will serve our community now and for decades to come.

Anyone who serves and represents our city at any level of government should be proud and excited that our community will have the opportunity to see the first sod turned on this project and perhaps even have the opportunity to compete on one of its many playing fields, enjoy the walking trails or kick a ball on the open space in the future.