Coker and King talk Bellarine infrastructure

February 18, 2021 BY

Corangamite Labor federal member Libby Coker and shadow infrastructure minister Catherine King outside the SpringDale Neighbourhood Centre last week. Photo: JAMES TAYLOR

COMMUNITY groups from across the Bellarine talked about their infrastructure needs with federal Labor MPs last week, but the proposed Drysdale pool was not among them.

Corangamite Labor federal member Libby Coker and shadow infrastructure minister Catherine King met with about a dozen representatives of the associations at SpringDale Neighbourhood Centre on Thursday.

“While most people think about infrastructure like recreation, roads and sporting clubs, what was interesting today was a lot of the community groups and associations are talking about sustainability, coastal management, they did touch on transportation connectivity – there was a real focus on sustainable projects,” Ms Coker said.

Ms King said the best way to think about infrastructure was as a way to enable other things.

“It enables you to be able to work, it enables you to be able to recreate in a certain way, it provides the connections between villages,” she said.

“The terrific thing about today was that we had progress associations from all of the villages across the Bellarine all talking about the importance of infrastructure in exactly that way.

“They were frustrated a bit about some of the issues they’d like to see developed a bit further, particularly a Bellarine cycling strategy.

“COVID has seen hundreds of people get on the bike, which we haven’t seen before, and clearly with the advent of e-bikes, it means there’s a much broader cohort of people who are cycling, so I think they’re very keen to see investment in that.”

Ms Coker and Ms King both expressed surprise that no-one at the meeting raised the North Bellarine Pool.

The City of Greater Geelong has slated to build stage 1 of the facility, which will include a 50-metre outdoor pool, in the Drysdale Sports Precinct.

“It was very interesting that it didn’t come up,” Ms Coker said.

“I know the pool is something people across the northern Bellarine are really, really passionate about.

“I’m very supportive of the pool, I think the community deserves one. Now it’s a matter of getting planning in place and the right level of funding.”

Ms King said people at the meeting also expressed their frustration with the “level of disconnect between local, state and federal governments”.

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