Bellarine budget boost
SPORTING clubs, outdoor enthusiasts, working parents and local businesses across the Bellarine will all benefit from the City of Greater Geelong’s proposed 2020-21 budget.
The budget includes funding for a variety of capital projects throughout the Bellarine including $750,000 for the North Bellarine aquatic centre – welcome news for long-term advocates.
The recreation centre, which is planned for a still-to-be-confirmed site in Drysdale, is set to feature a 50-metre-long outdoor pool, hydrotherapy, gym and rehab facility.
The federal government has committed $10 million to the project with additional council funding to be allocated in coming years.
Geelong mayor Stephanie Asher said it was a strong draft budget that would bring certainty during what is a “challenging time” for all community members.
“The Bellarine Peninsula is well taken care of, with plenty of projects and facilities to look forward to, that will also bring local jobs and drive investment into our ward.
“I’m particularly excited about the much-needed North Bellarine aquatic centre with a 50-metre long outdoor pool, streetscape improvements for St Leonards, an off-road path for Thirteenth Beach Road and a new Drysdale Regional Community and Learning Hub (DRCLH).”
The DRCLH (a DCP funded project) received $200,000 towards the design and construction of the new hub, set to replace the existing library and senior citizens centre within Drysdale’s town centre.
Other commitments to sport and recreation facilities include $425,000 to Newcomb Grinter Reserve’s master plan stage one and $250,000 to the Portarlington Recreation Reserve sports lighting.
The council plans to invest in infrastructure projects and initiatives that drive the region’s recovery from the COVID-19 emergency, including improved digital access across the Bellarine.
For the second year, funding will be directed to the Bellarine Enhanced Broadband initiative to the sum of $610,000, it will allow facilities – such as the Potato Shed and children’s centres – to access ultra- high-speed internet.
Council will partner with Deakin University and AARNET, to install and run high capacity optical fibre along the Bellarine Rail Trail corridor from South Geelong train station to Queenscliff.
Cr Jim Mason said the council had been focused on “delivering services, facilities and initiatives” the community has been asking for.
“I am pleased we three Bellarine councillors have achieved so much for our wards. Supporting our community though this time has been top of mind during the budget process.”
“The St Leonards skate park is a real highlight for me, and I encourage community members to see what’s on offer in their area and give feedback.”
Other community projects allocated funding include the Beacon Point Reserve (Clifton Springs) $250,000; streetscape upgrades in St Leonards $250,000; Jetty Road Children’s and Community Hub (Curlewis) $150,000; Leopold Football Club masterplan (Estuary Estate) $150,000; St Leonards skate park design $30,000 and south-east Bellarine coastal reserve strategy (Buckley Park and Lake Victoria) $160,000.
The Proposed Budget can be viewed online at yoursay.geelongaustralia.com.au or a hard copy is available upon request. Submissions will be received until May 26.