Hamilton's Melville Oval redevelopment has received $1.2 million in federal government funding and can now push forward without delay.
Budgeted at $8 million, the Melville Oval Project is the second stage of Southern Grampians Shire Council's five-stage $40 million 'Hamilton CBD Activation Masterplan'.
Member for Wannon Dan Tehan made the announcement on Thursday afternoon and Hamilton Kangaroos chairman John Pepper thanked the minister and council for their work.
"The project will really kick into gear earlier than what was initially thought," Mr Pepper said. "It could interrupt the football and netball seasons for a short period of time but we're working it out for minimal effect. It will be a short-term pain for long-term gain."
Mr Pepper said the redevelopment of the netball courts would play a big role in enticing Hampden league finals to be played at the ground.
"We know the grand final is at Reid Oval but to have a preliminary final or something like that here will be possible," he said.
"The netball courts have been our Achilles heel is getting a final in Hamilton. In the plans they are shifting and will be pretty impressive.
"But it's not just about the sporting side, the redevelopment will have such a big impact for the community. The federal government funding is the start for council to get the extra funds required to get the whole project going."
Southern Grampians Shire mayor Bruach Colliton welcomed the funding for the redevelopment and said the project would provide huge benefits for the region.
"The redevelopment of this facility will offer significant benefits for the community, our sporting clubs and our local economy," Cr Colliton said.
"We'll refurbish the grandstand and deliver new male and female change facilities, relocate the netball courts, and provide a social function space to the northern end of the facility. The redevelopment will also address accessible spectator shelter, seating and pathways, multi-purpose plaza and car parking space, and create an all-abilities playground within the precinct.
"This funding, together with the $2.84 million received late last year from the federal government, greatly assists us in make our vision for the Melville Oval Precinct a reality."
Mr Tehan said the funding was a crucial part of Wannon's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is wonderful news for the local community who will benefit from the upgrades to the Melville Oval precinct," he said. "This investment into Hamilton's premier facility for AFL rules football, netball and cricket, RSL Cenotaph, playground facilities, public amenities and function spaces will revitalise the space.
"The redevelopment will also attract more community use with the improved facilities."
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