State government budget commitment of $15 million
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THE Greater Bendigo Indoor Aquatic Leisure and Wellbeing Centre has received a massive boost, with the State Government announcing it will contribute $15 million to the project.
The facility is estimated to cost about $30 million to build and the council had originally envisioned the project would be evenly funded across all three levels of government, with the federal and state governments contributing $10 million each and the council contributing $10 million.
City of Greater Bendigo mayor Barry Lyons said he was surprised and thrilled by the State Budget commitment.
"The $15 million announced today in the State Budget exceeds our wildest dreams and means we can get on with delivering this much-needed facility for our community," he said.
"Without funding support from the State Government the likelihood of this project being completed any time in the foreseeable future was extremely remote.
"The beauty of this announcement is that the money is locked in; it's in the Budget and not just an election promise."
The beauty of this announcement is that the money is locked in.
Member for Northern Victoria Damian Drum said the announcement was a "major win" for Bendigo.
"The Greater Bendigo Indoor Aquatic Leisure and Wellbeing Centre promises to be a world-class health and recreation centre that will create health benefits for our region for generations to come," he said.
Mr Drum said the council had petitioned the federal government and opposition for money for the project last year, when Labor was in power, but both major parties had refused to commit to the project.
But he said the federal government would be much more likely to provide funding to the centre after the today's announcement.
Mr Lyons said he would be visiting Canberra at the end of the month to lobby government officials to fund the project.
He said that he was now very confident the project would go ahead.