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Council to apply for state funding grants to help deliver four key community projects

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The Surf Coast Shire Council will apply for state government funding grants to help deliver four key projects, which will deliver wide-ranging community benefits.

The Council will apply for grants from:

The Growing Suburbs Fund 2022-2023

• $5 million for the Surf Coast Cultural Centre
• $330,000 for Barwon River Loop Walk stage two
The Local Sports Infrastructure Fund 2022
• $1 million for Spring Creek Pavilion female friendly upgrade
• $2.5 million for the Surf Coast Aquatic and Health Centre additional warm water pool
The Living Libraries Infrastructure Program
• $1 million for the Surf Coast Cultural Centre Stage One

The Surf Coast Cultural Centre is one of the Council’s top-tier strategic advocacy project and includes an expanded library, a new Visitor Information Centre and a bigger and better

Australian National Surfing Museum at the existing site at Beach Road, Torquay. These elements comprise stage one of the project and have an estimated total cost of $36.8 million.

Stage two of the Barwon River Loop Walk, costed at $660,000, would see the completion of the two-kilometre walk linking the town’s four quadrants and features along the Barwon River. Project elements include a pedestrian bridge, observation platforms and educational and wayfinding signage including interpretive information about the Wadawurrung and Eastern Maar Traditional Owners.

The Surf Coast Aquatic and Health Centre, to be located in Torquay, is planned to include a 25-metre seasonal outdoor pool, two indoor warm water pools (for learn to swim, leisure activities and hydrotherapy), gym, multi-purpose program rooms, allied health suites and community meeting spaces.

“These key projects will deliver significant benefits for communities within our shire, and these state government funding grants would play an important role in bringing them to fruition,” Surf Coast Shire Cr Gary Allen said.

“The Surf Coast Cultural Centre will deliver a bigger, better surfing museum that’s purpose-built to display its internationally significant collection and to create a tourism drawcard at the start of the Great Ocean Road.”

“A larger, modernised library is needed to cater to the needs of those who use the current Torquay library branch now and meet forecast demand.”

“Modern libraries provide spaces for community collaboration and connection and significantly more floor space is needed to achieve this goal,” he said

Council has developed a webpage to enable community members to find out more about the Surf Coast Cultural Centre and to add their voice to a campaign for government funding. Go to: surfcoast.vic.gov.au/CulturalCentre.

Previous articleCouncil seeks urgent investigation on ailing Anglesea River Surf Coast Shire Council has formally noted increasing community concerns about the health of Anglesea River, and wants urgent investigation into the impacts of historic and current groundwater extraction, land use and climate change on its catchment. Council resolved at its 28 June meeting to call for hydrogeological modelling to properly explain the interaction between surface and groundwater in the catchment. It will not support groundwater extraction unless it is proven to have no detrimental impact on the river and/or its catchment. The calls will be included in Council’s formal submission to regulator Southern Rural Water in response to an Alcoa application for a six-month extension of its trial pumping groundwater from the Upper Eastern View Formation aquifer below the catchment. The pumping trial extension would take extraction through to March 2023. Alcoa is using the water to partially fill the void left by its former Anglesea coal mine. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning data shows that Anglesea River flows have dropped to about 10 per cent of long-term averages, despite normal or higher rainfall years. Its water is constantly acidic, devoid of fish and there has been a dramatic increase in mosquito larvae. “Anglesea River and catchment are of immense environmental, social and economic importance to our community and the failing state of the river is a deep concern for many people and to Council,” Anglesea Ward councillor Mike Bodsworth said. “Last year the community established its long-term vision for the Surf Coast Shire, establishing its first principle – ‘protect, conserve and restore our natural environment’. “We need a more comprehensive picture of the factors influencing the river’s decline before important decisions are made about the use of water in the catchment. “This is a complex issue and we need expert analysis of the impact of historical groundwater extraction.” Council’s submission also calls for: • Respectful engagement with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners. • Consideration of any relevant lessons from groundwater extraction causing acidification at Barwon Downs borefield. …/2 • The findings from hydrogeological research to be shared with the Anglesea community. • Anglesea community to be involved in development of an Anglesea River and Catchment Recovery Plan, including environmental goals and how they might be achieved. Multiple acid events and fish kills have been recorded in Anglesea River across decades and low water flow is affecting the function and health of its estuary. ENDS Not for
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