State government would consider funding Eureka Stadium redevelopment

THE state government says it will consider any proposal to redevelop the Ballarat sports and entertainment precinct. 

Last week, Labor pledged $15 million to redevelop Eureka Stadium and committed further money for indoor basketball and netball courts, a showground upgrade and improvements to local sports grounds.

When asked yesterday if the Coalition would match Labor’s announcement, Sports Minister Damian Drum said it would consult the City of Ballarat on any proposed redevelopment.

He said the state government would tour the facilities at Eureka Stadium and “thoroughly investigate” whether an upgrade was needed.

“We’ll be working with council over the next few months to effectively look at the facilities that already exist but also ask council for their priorities,” he said.

However, he said the state government wouldn’t just sign off on the council’s wishlist. 

In its Ballarat Regional Capital Plan released last year, the City of Ballarat called on both sides of government to fund a $37-million redevelopment of the precinct. 

Mr Drum was in Ballarat to view upgrades to St Georges Reserve pavilion and the Marty Busch BMX Track in Sebastopol, which both received state government contributions.

He said the state government was committed to funding both local sport and elite competitive sport. 

“We’re trying to find that balance between looking at the ... high end, but then also making sure our investment at the grassroots is incredibly important,” he said.

Ballarat-Sebastopol Cycling Club president Phillip Orr said membership had risen 90 per cent since the completion of the new BMX track.

He said further upgrades were being sought for a raised viewing area and a finishing sign.