An excited stakeholder group gathered this morning to witness the official opening of Northern Grampians Shire Council’s $4 Million multipurpose sporting pavilion at Lord Nelson Park St Arnaud.
Council invested $2,600,000 into the project and received additional funding of:
- $700,000 from the Victorian Government
- $500,000 from the Federal Government
- $100,000 from AFL Victoria
The St Arnaud community has raised a further $90,000 in donations and has set a fundraising target of $150,000 to put towards the facility.
The new facility will benefit St Arnaud Agricultural Society, St Arnaud Cricket Club, St Arnaud Football Club, St Arnaud Harness Racing Club, St Arnaud Hockey Club and St Arnaud Netball Club for whom Lord Nelson Park is the home ground.
The pavilion design features new female friendly change rooms that comply with AFL, soccer, netball, cricket and hockey requirements as well as facilities for umpires. Other elements of the build include versatile meeting spaces for activities and events, accessible amenities, a new canteen and kitchen and first aid and storage facilities to meet growing community needs.
Northern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Cr Tony Driscoll was regrettably unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances. Cr Murray Emerson humbly presided in his place. Cr Emerson said this was an auspicious and long awaited day for the St Arnaud sporting community and the township.
“This is a very proud moment for all of us in St Arnaud; everyone has dug deep into their pockets to fundraise and committed many volunteer hours since our aspirations were first articulated in the Lord Nelson Park Precinct Plan.
“We now have a modern pavilion that will serve a diverse group of users for years to come.
“Thank you to the State and Federal Governments, the AFL and other bodies for backing Council’s investment and helping to fund a facility that befits its role as the centrepiece of an historic and culturally important sport and recreation ground.”
Cr Emerson commenced the official opening with a plaque unveiling followed by speeches from the Hon Jaala Pulford and Dr Anne Webster.
Afterwards, Mayor Driscoll joined by the State member Ms Pulford and Federal member Dr Webster, cut the ribbon on the new pavilion. Senior Placemaker Economic and Community Futures Mr Tony Dark and Project Manager Jeevan Pinto then guided everyone assembled on a tour of the facilities.
Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation Djaara Elder Aunty Marilyn Nicholls performed a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony for the attendees.
Attributable quote from the Hon Jaala Pulford, State Member for Western Victoria.
“Local clubs depend on local facilities. The new pavilion not only helps secure the future of grassroots sports but provide a boost for the local community as well.”
“Facilities like these are so important to our regional communities. Places like the Lord Nelson Park Pavilion aren’t just for sporting events, they are also hubs where locals can come together as a community.”
“Better facilities make it easier for Victorians to get back into local sport and recreation and live active and healthy lifestyles.”
Attributable quote from Dr Anne Webster MP, Federal Member for Mallee.
“It’s fantastic to be opening these wonderful facilities almost exactly one year after I turned the first sod. Sport is the heart beat of regional communities and Lord Nelson Park will undoubtedly be a central point for connection, enjoyment and healthy competition.
“From the little ones to the seniors and their families, braving the freezing cold in winter and the dry heat in summer, these upgrades will benefit everyone.”