Prime Minister Julia Gillard today joined the Minister for Regional Services and Local Communities and the Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, to announce $2.675 million in federal funding to complete stage two of the Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility project.
Ms King said that the facility would become a major regional sporting complex able to host local, regional and state competitions and training, making it the home of soccer for Ballarat and Western Victoria.
“The upgraded complex will include a lighted show pitch, an additional two playing pitches, a major grandstand to seat 900 people as well as a pavilion grandstand for a further 600 people,” Ms King said.
One of the pitches will be constructed with FIFA 2-star-rated synthetic turf – the soccer world’s best artificial surface, able to cope with extreme climates and non-stop, intensive use.
“This state-of-the-art turf is used for world’s top soccer competitions such as the UEFA Champions League and FIFA finals. To have such an asset in Ballarat puts the town in an enviable position to bid for Australian and international competitions, including the Asian Cup in 2015.”
The project will deliver health and social benefits to the local community, as well as provide economic benefits such as local employment and increased tourism throughout competitions.
Minister King congratulated the Ballarat City Council on its successful proposal under round four of the Federal Government’s Regional Development Australia Fund.
“The application process for this round of funding proved very competitive, with all proposals scrutinised against eligibility, risk, viability and value-for-money criteria,” Minister King said.
“The Federal Government places tremendous importance on strong, sustainable regional towns and communities.”
“We are driven by the belief that every Australian, no matter where they live, should have access to high-quality education, health services and employment opportunities. This latest round of funding further strengthens regional communities to deliver on that conviction.”
Further information on the Regional Development Australia Fund can be found at www.regional.gov.au