Council has endorsed three major community infrastructure projects to be submitted for funding through the Victorian Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund (GSF) to improve the health and wellbeing of growing neighbourhoods.
Each of Baw Baw Shire’s three wards will be represented with a project funding submission:
- Longwarry Early Learning Centre Expansion in the West Ward
- Baxter Reserve Synthetic Soccer Pitch Upgrade in the Central Ward
- Trafalgar Recreation Reserve Multi Use Pavilion in the East Ward
These projects have been selected due to their “shovel-ready” status and possibility of immediate economic and social impact.
GSF guidelines stipulate that Councils are expected to contribute funding to the delivery of each project at a ratio of $1 for $1. Therefore, Council would be required to contribute 50 per cent of the project costs if the funding application is successful.
Applications will be submitted to the GSF by the 13 July closing date. Council expects to hear the grant application outcomes by mid-late August.
Longwarry Early Learning Centre Expansion
The Longwarry Early Learning Centre Expansion was selected due to its need in the community and readiness for delivery, having detailed concept designs prepared. The total project value is estimated at $1 million – Council will apply for $500,000 through the GSF and contribute the balance if successful.
Baxter Reserve Synthetic Soccer Pitch Upgrade
The Baxter Reserve Synthetic Soccer Pitch Upgrade is identified as a priority strategic project for Council and key sporting and recreation project for community use. The total project value is estimated at $2.92 million – Council will apply for $1.46 million through the GSF and contribute the balance if successful.
Trafalgar Recreation Reserve Multi Use Pavilion
The Trafalgar Recreation Reserve Multi Use Pavilion is also identified as a priority strategic project for Council and key sporting and recreation project for community use. The total project value is estimated at $3.2 million – Council will apply for $1.6 million through the GSF and contribute the balance if successful.
About the Growing Suburbs Fund
Earlier this month, after years of advocacy, Baw Baw Shire Council welcomed news that it would have access to the GSF – a major fund that supports new and improved community facilities across Victoria’s growing suburbs.
The GSF is a $250 million investment over five years in critical local infrastructure for communities in Melbourne’s diverse and fast-growing outer suburbs. It is positioned to quickly respond to the pressures being experienced by interface communities by bringing forward local infrastructure projects that will make a big difference in the day-to-day lives of outer suburban families.
Despite being the fastest growing Peri-Urban Council in Victoria, Baw Baw Shire Council has previously been unable to apply for the grants available to our neighbours in Casey, Cardinia and Yarra Ranges.
Previously, the fund was only available to Melbourne’s 10 interface Councils including Cardinia, Casey, Hume, Melton, Mitchell, Mornington Peninsula, Nillumbik, Whittlesea, Wyndham, and Yarra Ranges. Moving forward, all six Victorian Peri-urban Councils will now be included in the fund, including Baw Baw Shire, Golden Plains, Macedon Ranges, Moorabool, Bass Coast and Surf Coast.
Baw Baw’s biggest towns of Drouin and Warragul are experiencing significant growth. Between the 2011 and 2016 Census Dates, Baw Baw Shire had an annual growth rate of 2.7 per cent – exceeding that of many Councils that were eligible for GSF funding.
As noted by Mayor Cr Danny Goss
“For many years, Council has been advocating for access to the GSF fund to help deliver critical infrastructure for our growing communities. We’ve now done the groundwork to select these three major projects to put forward for funding to deliver the projects these community’s want and need. We look forward to hearing the outcome of these applications later in August.”
“On behalf of Baw Baw Shire Council, we thank the Victorian Government for opening up the GSF fund to peri-urban Council’s, which will no doubt make a huge difference for our local community into the future.”