THE Foster Indoor Stadium is set for a transformation, thanks to a $2.26 million funding boost from the Victorian Government’s Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program.

Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett MP has announced that the project is one of 27 to benefit from a share in more than $68 million from the stimulus program.

This investment recognises the overwhelming demand for shovel-ready community sports infrastructure and is part of the Victorian Government’s $2.7 billion Building Works package creating jobs and kick-starting vital projects across the state.

The redevelopment will include an increased court run off, court compliance for basketball competition, expanded and upgraded change room and toilet facilities (that provide accessible and baby change provision), expanded gym/dry program space, improved meeting room spaces, expanded kiosk/kitchenette space and expanded storage space.

The redeveloped facility will provide a perfect base for the Foster Basketball Association, Foster Football Netball Club (Netball), Foster Badminton and Hard Work Café to develop programs, train, host games and events.

This investment is about helping grassroots sports communities get back in the game when the time is right.

“This investment will support the local economy and create jobs – and support the growing number of people in Foster keen to get involved in sport and recreation,” Member for Eastern Victoria, Jane Garrett, said.

“We’re making sport and recreation more accessible, welcoming and inclusive for all Victorians by giving communities the facilities they need.”

The South Gippsland Shire Council has warmly welcomed the grant and congratulated the community.

“We’re very grateful to Sport and Recreation Victoria for supporting our application,” said the shire’s chair administrator Julie Eisenbise (see statement below).

From sports field lighting upgrades at multiple sites to new indoor sports courts, investments like these provide high-quality and accessible places for Victorians to reap the benefits of sport and active recreation participation.

By working with local government authorities, alpine resort boards and sporting clubs and organisations, the program is fast-tracking shovel-ready community sports infrastructure projects across Victoria and is expected to create almost $140 million in local economic activity.

This includes jobs in construction and supply chains with benefits for local businesses through the Victorian Government’s Local Jobs First requirements which will be built into contracts.

The program is part of the more than $915 million in Victorian Government investment in community sport and recreation infrastructure since 2014.

Ms Garrett acknowledged the South Gippsland Shire Council for their commitment and financial contribution to the project.

For more information about infrastructure grant opportunities available through the Victorian Government visit www.sport.vic.gov.au

South Gippsland Shire Council statement:

South Gippsland Shire Council has been successful in seeking support for the redevelopment of the Foster indoor stadium.

 On the 28 May 2020, the Victorian Government opened applications to Sport and Recreation Victoria’s new $68 million Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program. The Program is designed to build and upgrade community sports facilities across the state. The investment aims to support local sporting clubs, create jobs, and boost Victoria’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

 After consultation with community groups and Sport and Recreation Victoria, Council applied for a grant of $2,260,000 to support for the Foster Indoor Stadium Redevelopment project. Yesterday it received confirmation that the grant application was successful.

South Gippsland Shire Chair Administrator Julie Eisenbise said that the funding would give a much-loved recreation space in Foster a welcome upgrade.

 “Foster indoor stadium is a well-used community facility that supports a range of sporting groups including basketball, the Football-Netball Club, badminton and a gymnasium. It is also used by the University of the 3rd Age, Foster craft market, the Show Society and local school groups.

 “Unfortunately, the current court does not meet minimum compliance standards for basketball and the change-room facilities are not accessible or well designed. The entry and other spaces lack storage and are not adequate to meet community need.

 “The funded redevelopment will include a compliant basketball court, improved changerooms, dry program area, meeting rooms, kitchen/kiosk, storage space, exterior building beautification and formalised carparking. We’re very grateful to Sport and Recreation Victoria for supporting our application,” said Ms Eisenbise.

To view all of Council’s media releases please visit: www.southgippsland.vic.gov.au/media