Supporting the community’s passion

June 14, 2024 BY

EASTERN Geelong residents’ passion for improving their community never ceases to impress me.

This year, residents and community groups from Breakwater, East Geelong, Moolap, Newcomb, South Geelong, Thomson, St Albans Park, and Whittington made more than 60 submissions in response to Council’s proposed 2024-25 budget.

Some of these submissions welcomed funding in the proposed budget, such as the Aldershot Reserve renewal in St Albans Park.

Long-time residents and local families are already enjoying the reserve’s newly sealed footpath network and eagerly checking on the progress of its new dog park.

Construction began in January, thanks to an $850,000 grant under the Federal Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure fund.

The project is scheduled for completion in mid-2024 and will provide a fantastic boost for local dog-owners and their four-legged friends.

In the proposed budget council allocated a further $1 million to revamp the reserve’s playground and complete nearby landscaping.

We are also pursuing avenues for funding to deliver new public toilets and build fitness equipment at the reserve, as key priorities for the City’s Aldershot Reserve Master Plan.

On the other hand, several submissions called for additional funding for projects across the suburbs of eastern Geelong.

As Brownbill Ward Councillor, I acknowledge the high number of submissions for funding for Geelong BMX Club at Grinter Reserve and East Geelong Football Netball Club at Richmond Oval.

I am aware of the fantastic work these clubs do in our local community connecting young people and getting them involved in physical activity.

Currently council has allocated funding for new lighting and behind goal netting at the existing netball court at East Geelong Football Netball Club following a $250,000 election commitment from Geelong MP Christine Couzens.

This funding will also go towards new compliant netball goalposts and players and officials benches at court one.

Many of the submissions highlighted the need for a second netball court at Richmond Oval, which would require the relocation of the existing playground nearby.

On Friday May 17 a car ran through a fence and into the playground. The site has been secured and fenced off, and officers are evaluating damage and exploring replacement and relocation options.

The outcome of this will inform discussions about a second netball court and we will continue to explore funding avenues for this.

Over at Grinter Reserve, Newcomb, new cricket nets are scheduled for completion in coming weeks following federal ($476,440), state ($100,000) and council ($273,560) funding.

Council has also allocated $600,000 in federal funding to install new lighting and behind goal netting at the football ovals and netball courts at the Reserve.

And shortly Council will start work on irrigating the top oval, which will help support the inclusion of a women’s cricket side.

I also applaud the members and supporters of Geelong BMX Club for their passion in campaigning for upgrades to their facilities at Grinter Reserve including onsite toilets and change rooms.

Council considered these submissions carefully, along with more than 300 other submissions for other projects across Greater Geelong in response to the 2024-25 budget, when we met on Monday 3 June.

The submissions review process is unique to local government and gives residents a chance to have their say on our proposed budget before its adoption on 28 June.

Council also received a variety of submissions for organisations and locations in eastern Geelong including Whittington Community Hub, Tanner Reserve, Moolap Tennis Club, Breakwater Eagles Soccer Club, St Albans Football and Netball Club, Geelong Sharks Rugby Club, Thomson Sports Club, and for playground upgrades at Stefania Mews, Whittington and Pitman Street, Newcomb.

I commend you all for your advocacy and want to assure you that I, along with my fellow Councillors have heard you, and that we are considering all submissions carefully before adopting the final budget.

Cr Melissa Cadwell

Brownbill Ward, City of Greater Geelong