Community-led project celebrates opening in Deans Marsh
A NEW versatile space will serve as a shelter, outdoor performance stage, picnic area and more for a range of sport and community events, residents and visitors for decades to come in Deans Marsh.
The community has recently celebrated the opening of a multi-purpose stand which will provide a venue for groups and events beside the town’s Memorial Oval.
Members of the community helped build the $138,300 construction project dating back to three years ago, as they were able to successfully lobby a $114,000 grant from the Australian Government via its Community Sports Infrastructure Grants Program.
They were joined by Senator Henderson and Surf Coast Shire Council mayor Libby Stapleton on September 17 for a low-key opening ceremony.
Cr Stapleton congratulated the community and the festival stand committee on their achievement.
“This is a pilot model in enabling community-led project delivery and has demonstrated to council how capably a motivated community can take charge of a project, complete detailed planning, significant fundraising and mobilise local skills,” Cr Stapleton said.
“After having considered and endorsed the project’s viability, council’s role was only to provide support and advice at key stages.
“This experience has shown us a fresh approach in project delivery and is a credit to committee members and the wider Deans Marsh community.”
Deans Marsh Festival Stand Committee chair Brendan Brown said the project started with the idea of providing a new shelter and shade for the Deans Marsh Cricket Club members.
“Surf Coast Shire Council ticked off on our project feasibility and we were thrilled to receive the foundation funding from the Australian Government through the support of Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson,” he said.
“We have overcome difficulties presented by the pandemic and we are particularly proud that our community has owned and managed this project all of the way, including providing the local expertise of a land surveyor, architect, project managers and financial managers.”
The stand was completed in July and the project’s budget included contributions from other revenue streams such as the Deans Marsh Cottage ($6834), the Surf Coast Shire’s Council COVID-19 Recovery Grant ($5000), Winchelsea and District Community Bank’s grant ($5000), Deans Marsh Hall and Reserve Community Asset Committee ($2650), Deans Marsh Cricket Club ($2559) and the Deans Marsh Sheepdog Trials ($1818).
“Congratulations to the Deans Marsh community for its incredible vision and work in delivering a new community pavilion,” Senator Henderson said.
“Whether it’s hosting performances such as by the OMM Rock Choir, sheltering spectators or a venue for school activities and fitness classes, the pavilion will be a wonderful asset for the Deans Marsh community.
“As I reiterated when I helped open the pavilion, every community matters.
“Along with local road upgrades, better broadband, and major support for farmers, I am very proud of the many ways the Morrison Government is supporting the Deans Marsh community.”