Labor promises $5m to Bendigo Stadium

UPDATE 10.30AM: 

OPPOSITION leader Daniel Andrews says planning will begin on the Bendigo Stadium project immediately if Labor is elected at the November state election.  

Mr Andrews shot some hoops with Bendigo Spirit and Braves' players before announcing $5 million for the Bendigo Stadium.

He said the project was "ready to go". 

Construction is expected to take 18 months. 

EARLIER: 

LABOR will announce a $5 million upgrade of Bendigo Stadium this morning as part of its election pitch to Bendigo ahead of the November poll.

The upgrade will include 3000 permanent seats, 12 new outdoor netball courts with changing rooms and an extra three indoor courts for basketball, volleyball and netball.

Victorian opposition leader Daniel Andrews will make the announcement at the stadium this morning, the latest in a string of promises for the Bendigo region should Labor win at the ballot box.

Mr Andrews said the upgraded stadium will allow for major sporting events in Bendigo.

"Victoria is the sporting capital of the world. It's part of our culture and our identity," he said.

"Bendigo must be a part of it too."

Up to 500,000 people use Bendigo Stadium every year, pushing the facility to capacity and causing cramped scheduling of competitive sport leagues.

Bendigo was in danger of losing the WNBL grand final two years ago, despite the Bendigo Spirit winning the right to host the match.

The stadium had to bring in temporary seating to accommodate the 3000-strong crowd. The cost was estimated to be $80,000 for the match, raised through the Bendigo community.

Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said the government needed to allow the stadium to grow as a community asset.

"The stadium's full - there's so much more it can do if we upgrade it," she said.

"Labor's plan is great for jobs, tourism, major events, sports and the local economy."

The announcement comes just two days after the Labor Party pledged $1 million to a "full rebuild" of Kalianna Special School after the community gathered a 4200-signature petition.

Labor has promised $5.7 million for a complete rebuild of Epsom Primary School, announced at the end of July, in addition to last week's funding pledge for a roundabout at Strathfieldsaye and the duplication of Napier Street.

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