$1 million worth of infrastructure projects in the Millewa is set to boost the economy and wellbeing of the community in the wake of ongoing drought conditions.
Mildura Rural City Councillors this evening voted to upgrade the Millewa Resource Centre, improve amenities on the Lake Cullulleraine foreshore and make major improvements at the Lake Cullulleraine Community Complex – including construction of a second netball court.
Wok on the projects – which were prioritised by residents of the Millewa-Carwarp community – will get underway almost immediately. Council staff will meet with locals as early as this week to begin the detailed planning required to make these projects a reality. Refining the scope, design, budget and timeline in consultation with Millewa residents and key user groups is vital.
Mayor Simon Clemence said each project would bring its own unique benefits and value to a community that has been severely impacted by ongoing drought conditions.
“These projects have the potential to make a real difference directly to the people and businesses of the Millewa-Carwarp area, not only during the construction phase, but long-term too,” Cr Clemence said.
“They will also benefit the wider Sunraysia community and regional economy, by using local contractors where possible and creating tourism and better access to sport and recreation.”
Mildura Rural City Council received $1 million from the federal government’s Drought Communities Program for community infrastructure in 2019. The equivalent amount was held in a special Drought reserve, to invest in the Millewa region, as and when suitable projects were identified.
Council’s Drought Response Reference Group – which includes industry representatives and people from the Millewa – helped identify and endorse the three projects. Group member, Millewa Advisory Group President and Yarrara farmer Ron Hards welcomed Council’s official endorsement of the three projects.
“This infrastructure investment means so much to our community, especially given the difficult conditions we are facing,” Mr Hards said.
“The lake, the Complex and the Resource Centre are all really important assets that locals use regularly.
“Many of us head to the lake on the weekend or even on holidays to ski, socialise and relax. Like many small communities, sport and recreation is huge for us, so improving the facilities at Johansen Reserve and adding an extra netball court will make a big difference.
“I’m looking forward to seeing these projects become a reality and our community working alongside Council to make them happen.”
The three projects include:
|Project||Estimated timeframe||Estimated cost|
|Lake Cullulleraine foreshore amenity upgrades
This project will upgrade amenities on the Lake Cullulleraine foreshore for use by both local and visitors. Activities could include new lighting, a permanent stage, upgrade of the playground area, BBQ, camp kitchen facilities and tourist information board. The projects would also see a floating pontoon constructed on the lake. The project has the potential to directly employ local residents by engaging local contractors, as well as stimulate tourism and improve access to facilities.
|Millewa Resource Centre upgrades
The project would enhance facilities within the Millewa Resource Centre. The former tennis clubrooms, this building is currently leased to the Millewa-Carwarp Landcare Group. It is also used regularly to host a visiting Council Library service. Upgrades proposed include improved kitchen and toilet facilities and has the potential to directly employ residents by engaging local contractors.
Cullulleraine Community Complex renovations and Netball Court
This project would upgrade and improve the Cullulleraine Community Complex. Improvements could be made to the toilets, football and netball change rooms and other areas. Outside works could include new directional signage, playground shade areas and the addition of a second netball court. This project would improve access to local services and facilities and has the potential to directly employ residents by engaging local contractors.
Separate to these drought-relief projects, Council has been working with residents in the Millewa who are interested in expanding the local drumMUSTER program. This idea is yet to be fully developed and therefore it could not be considered for drought-relief funding. We will continue to work with the proponents of this project which is looking to manage a significant and complex environmental issue.