Northern Aquatic and Community Hub funding plan approved
THE long-awaited Northern Aquatic and Community Hub has taken a big step forward, with the City of Greater Geelong formally approved to allocate $8.26 million in federal government’s infrastructure funding it received toward the project.
The allocation to the $61.6 million project, provided through the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) Program, gives the green light for the council to move forward with its extra funding commitment made at last month’s council meeting.
Geelong mayor Stephanie Asher said this morning was an historic moment for the Greater Geelong community.
“This is a major milestone in this transformative project, which will make a huge difference in the lives of people living Geelong’s north.
“The contribution from the Australian Government has made a critical difference to this project and we are extremely thankful for such a substantial investment.
“With confirmation that we can use the Australian Government funding stream toward the Northern Aquatic and Community Hub, we can now move forward towards the start of construction.”
The $8.26 million from the LRCI Program builds on the $8.5 million delivered by the state government in its May Budget.
The funding is in addition to $44.84 million committed by the City of Greater Geelong, which includes $21.84 million endorsed by the council at its May meeting to lock in the city as the primary funding contributor.
The hub – which will redevelop Waterworld and Centenary Hall in Norlane – is also awaiting the outcome of the city’s application for a further $10 million in federal funding through the Building Better Regions fund. If successful, the city’s contribution would decrease to $34.84 million.
Windermere Ward councillor Anthony Aitken also thanked the federal government for supporting the project through the LRCI allocation.
“In recent months we have seen what a positive impact we can make when all levels of government work together with community for the benefit of our community.
“Today’s approval is fantastic news for the northern suburbs and reflects the hard work and commitment of the project’s passionate advocates.
“We appreciate the efforts and hard work of Senator Sarah Henderson, who has been a strong public supporter.”
Fellow Windermere Ward councillor Kylie Grzybek said the federal funding allocation meant a long-held vision would now be brought to life.
“The Northern Aquatic and Community Hub is the council’s biggest community infrastructure project and we’ve been advocating for the past five years to make it a reality.
“We are grateful to the state and federal governments for recognising the immense importance of securing a first-class community facility for our growing northern suburbs.”