Warrnambool’s Reid Oval has missed out on major state government funding.
The government announced a near $500 million AFL package, with cash for regional infrastructure upgrades across the state.
The Reid Oval, which is seeking at least $6 million for a complete overhaul in the hope of attracting AFL matches, has been overlooked.
Warrnambool City Council mayor Robert Anderson said he welcomed announcement regarding investing in women’s and community sport as part of the 2018/2019 budget.
“We note that with the exception of funding for a business case for Ballarat’s Eureka Oval, all facility announcements relate to venues in metropolitan Melbourne, so we would presume that the state government will make subsequent announcements regarding funding for regional and rural Victoria,” he said.
“The council has been working with the state government and other key funding partners to advocate strongly for the Reid Oval redevelopment project. The council is currently working on a preliminary business case for the project to present to government, the opposition and local MPs in order to seek an election commitment for project funding should funding not be included in the 2018/2019 state budget.”
Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell said the funding had come at the expense of community clubs.
“Daniel Andrews has given $225 million of taxpayer money to the AFL at the expense of community sporting grounds like the Reid Oval in Warrnambool and Hanlon Park in Portland,” she said.
“How is it fair that Daniel Andrews is giving the AFL - a multibillion dollar industry which doesn’t pay tax - a $225m free kick, but our local football or netball club has to go cap in hand for a loan?”
The missed funding opportunity comes as night football is set to be played in Warrnambool after a major lighting upgrade at Friendly Societies Park.
South Warrnambool will take on the Hamilton Kangaroos under lights on Saturday.