NYORA Recreation Reserve faced a ‘perfect storm’ of three major issues which threatened its ongoing viability.
But following last week’s $40,000 funding announcement from Origin Energy, work to solve these ongoing problems can finally commence, beginning with the reserve’s power supply.
Without the power, desperately needed sewerage and irrigation upgrades cannot happen.
All up, the reserve needs $120,000 for the required works, but with the power, applications for funding from other sources can now be made.
“Origin’s funding is the key to it all,” reserve committee president Brett Hume said.
With the local population growing rapidly over the past few years, the Nyora Recreation Reserve Committee (NRRC) identified the need to enhance the reserve to keep up with increasing usage by local clubs, the adjacent Nyora Men’s Shed and local residents.
The contribution from Origin will see power supply upgraded to a three-phase underground system to help ensure reliable electricity supply to existing buildings.
Origin’s funding will also enable the reserve committee to apply for support from the South Gippsland Shire Council and State Government to undertake a broader program of work including upgrade of the sewer service and an in ground sprinkler system.
“With more than 26,000 people using the ground each year already, it’s important for us to ensure the facilities are able to cope with an expected increase in demand in the years ahead,” Mr Hume said.
“This grant from Origin means we can begin works to upgrade the electrical services so clubs can conduct night training sessions and social events without worrying about blackouts and the use of diesel generators,” Mr Hume said.
“We have the Men’s Shed based at the reserve but they can only operate one machine at a time.”
Mat Quinn, plant manager at the nearby BassGas processing facility at Lang Lang, said Origin recognised how important the reserve was for the Nyora and district community.
“The Nyora Recreation Reserve has been home to local sports and community clubs for over 120 years, and when you have the Nyora Football Club unanimously voting to stay local, you can see how vitally important it is to have sustainable community facilities,” Mat said.
In addition to the power upgrade, the Nyora Recreation Reserve Committee is looking forward to completing an extensive specialised tree-planting program in partnership with Loch/Nyora Landcare Group.
These works will improve the safety of existing steep embankments and enhance the environmental experience for walking groups and the community.
Linda French from origin Energy thanked South Gippsland Shire Council’s Barbara Look for her guidance in highlighting the need for the project.
The reserve committee is set to meet with the South Gippsland Shire Council this Thursday to develop grant applications to help complete the upgrades.