The Benalla Indoor Recreation Centre is set to receive it’s much needed funding following the announcement of the Victorian State Budget earlier this week, however other crucial projects are set to miss out.
Nationals Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland had outlined some of the major projects needing funding in Benalla prior to the budget being confirmed, including the recreation centre, a dialysis unit at Benalla Health, and funding for the Tomorrow Today foundation.
Alongside stadium user groups, Ms Cleeland collected over 400 signatures on a petition calling for a rebuild of the rec centre, which was tabled in Victorian Parliament by Steph Ryan before the November election.
The Nationals made a commitment to fund the rebuild if elected to government which was subsequently supported by the Victorian Government, thanks to the advocacy of Ms Cleeland.
This advocacy is now set to result in $15 million of government funding to create a new stadium and confirm Benalla as a major sporting hub for Victoria’s North East.
“The community drove this project,” Ms Cleeland said.
“We don’t want to see anyone missing out on community sport because the resources aren’t there to support them.
“With such a strong petition backing the need for a new stadium it made it difficult for the Victorian Government to look the other way. I appreciate them coming to the table and matching The Nationals’ commitment.”
One of the projects put forward by Ms Cleeland and The Nationals to miss out in the region was funding for a dialysis unit in Benalla.
The need for funding a dialysis unit at Benalla Health had arisen due to strong advocacy work by members of the community, with constituents in the town raising the issue with Ms Cleeland.
“Currently there are no dialysis treatment options in Benalla, meaning people needing medical attention are forced to travel to Wangaratta or even further,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Speaking to residents in Benalla, it is obvious there is considerable demand for this service. We need to ensure individuals can access important health services close to their homes and support networks.
“It is really disheartening to see this government prioritise an unnecessary metro rail line over the health and well-being of regional Victorians.”
The Tomorrow Today foundation is another investment that Ms Cleeland has advocated for, discussing it in parliament on several occasion and requested the Treasurer fund the program.
Ms Cleeland said the work undertaken by Tomorrow Today provided a strong return on investment and was of great benefit to the local community.
“Tomorrow Today is a transformative organisation. They have made a significant and tangible impact, driving positive outcomes for families across the region,” Ms Cleeland said.