Grant announcements a big win for community sport

Published on 21 May 2024

This is an image with three photographs, from left to right one of sports of lights, a horse and a tennis racquet and balls on a tennis court

Football, cricket, tennis and equestrian clubs in Nillumbik are set to benefit from Council’s successful application for three grants to improve community facilities through the Victorian Government’s 2023-2024 Local Sports Infrastructure Fund.

Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence has announced that Nillumbik will receive $300,000 to go towards the redevelopment of the Panton Hill Tennis Courts, $203,000 towards a lighting upgrade at the Plenty War Memorial Oval, and $27,000 towards the design costs for a new Yarrambat Equestrian Pavilion.

Mayor Ben Ramcharan welcomed the Victorian Government’s support for the infrastructure projects, which will be jointly funded by Council.

“This is a great win for community sport. By improving our local sports infrastructure we can ensure opportunities to be active in our Shire are accessible and inclusive for all our residents no matter their age, ability or gender,” Cr Ramcharan said.

The two tennis courts at Panton Hill Tennis Club will get a new acrylic playing surface as part of the redevelopment and the funds will also allow for drainage improvements, new root barriers, and the construction of retaining walls, paths and a viewing area.

Deputy Mayor and Bunjil Ward Councillor Karen Egan said the courts had fallen into disrepair and were recently assessed as unfit for use.

“This is great news for rural Nillumbik and the club is absolutely thrilled,” Cr Egan said. “The club has been hiring courts off site in order to continue their programs.”

The lighting upgrade at Plenty War Memorial Oval, home to the Diamond Creek Women’s Football Club and the Plenty Cricket Club, will see the installation of four new poles with LED fittings and an upgrade to the power supply to provide sufficient lighting quality for training and night games.

Blue Lake Ward Councillor Richard Stockman said the existing oval lighting did not meet current standards for AFL competition.

“The Diamond Creek Women’s Football Club has strong membership with 115 junior players and 93 senior players. This upgrade will now mean the club can play night matches at their home ground, which is a huge boost for women’s sport in the region,” Cr Stockman said.

He said developing designs was the first step in providing a new pavilion for the Yarrambat Adult Riding Club and Yarrambat Horse and Pony Club.

“The clubs have used Yarrambat Park as their base for more than 50 years, but their current facility is not ideal. It’s unsealed and uninsulated, making it an uncomfortable experience in hot and cold weather, and there are no toilets or change facilities,” he said.

“A new pavilion will not only benefit the equestrian clubs, but its multi-functional design will support use by the wider community.”

Cr Egan added that horse riding was one of the largest female sports in the Shire and the wider equine community was thrilled with the funding support.

Council will now work with each of the sports clubs on the projects’ delivery.