One of Mitchell Shire Council’s major advocacy priorities will be funded in the upcoming State Budget with an announcement this week that there will be an extra $50million for the Growing Suburbs Fund.
The additional $50million will help growth councils like Mitchell to meet the challenges of a fast-growing population and demand for more community places and spaces as we plan for a future population of 230000 people.
The announcement doubles the current amount and restores the fund to its previous level after it was reduced in 2017.
Since the fund was introduced in 2015, Mitchell has delivered more than $18million of new infrastructure to the community, with more than $8million coming from the fund. A further $1million in works are planned this year.
Projects that have benefited from the Growing Suburbs Fund include Wallan’s Greenhill Reserve female change rooms, the Wallan Community Bank Adventure Playground, Wallan Family and Children’s Centre and Town Heart, the Greater Beveridge Community Centre, two new playgrounds in Kilmore and upgrades to the Broadford Living and Learning Centre and the new Broadford Youth Services building.
Mitchell Shire Mayor Councillor Rhonda Sanderson welcomed the renewed commitment from the Victorian Government.
‘‘We are pleased to see that the Victorian Government has taken steps to increase funding for the Growing Suburbs Fund,’’ Cr Sanderson said.
‘‘This will help us to provide essential services and infrastructure for our current residents and reduce the funding burden on both current and future ratepayers.
‘‘The early provision of facilities and services at a local level is essential to prevent problems associated with isolation and to create well-connected and active communities.’’
Mitchell Shire Council will identify possible projects for the fund as part of its budget process.