Melton Phoenix Football Club have received $1.18 million in facility funding from the Victorian State Government, with works commencing on a new pavilion at the club’s home at MacPherson Park.
The new pavilion will incorporate female friendly change and referees’ rooms, a kitchen, a first aid room, a community social space and fully accessible public amenities.
The grant was provided through the first round of the government’s Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program.
The Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program is supporting Victoria’s economy by working with Local Government Authorities, Alpine Resort Boards and sporting organisations to fast-track shovel-ready community sports infrastructure projects across Victoria.
Following overwhelming demand for Round One, an additional $110 million has been provided through the 2020-21 State Budget for Round Two of the Program.
A further $750,000 in funding is also set to be put aside to improve car parking arrangements and pedestrian connections at the site in Melton, from the federal government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.
Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas recently joined other dignitaries to announce the facility upgrades for the football club.
“The Melton Phoenix Football Club has over 400 members, and they’ve outgrown their current club-rooms,” MP Thomas said in a statement.
“Melton Phoenix has been a trailblazing club welcoming all players, and it’s great to see they will be getting a pavilion that will enable them to attract more players from across this growing community.”
Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence further emphasised the importance of sport in society and its place in uniting people.
“Sport and active recreation is not just good for our physical and mental health, in growing cities like Melton it brings people together and builds communities,” she stated.
The club itself, based in the western suburbs of Melbourne, has been integral to the local sporting scene in Melton over the past 50 years.
It will be a major boost for the local club and the wider community, and is considered necessary to meet the growing needs of girls and women who continue to sign up and play football in the area.
Club administrators will also benefit significantly, with the upgrades to allow greater flexibility in scheduling training sessions and matches at the ground.
During the construction process, the project is expected to generate 25 jobs, with the pavilion due to be completed by mid-2022.
MacPherson Park is the regional sporting hub in the City of Melton, hosting a variety of other sporting teams including the Melton Cricket Club, Melton Netball Club and the Melton Broncos Rugby League Club.
The sporting venue has undergone significant redevelopments in recent years, including stage one upgrades totalling $12.3 million.
“Stage one has delivered a synthetic sporting oval with lighting, a netball court with lighting and warm-up space, a regional level cricket training facility, a multipurpose community pavilion to service all three sport ovals, and a netball precinct with female-friendly change rooms and meeting rooms. The project was funded in partnership with Council, the Victorian Government ($2 million from the Growing Suburbs Fund) and AFL Victoria ($100,000),” a statement read according to the City of Melton’s website.
City of Melton Mayor Cr Kathy Majdlik said these redevelopments were already making a big difference to local sporting clubs.
“MacPherson Park is delivering outstanding sporting infrastructure for the future. It’s absolutely fantastic to see stage one being used by local clubs, and to see the transformation ready to continue,” Cr Majdlik said.
“As well as providing upgraded playing and training spaces, this will also connect residents and clubs socially.
“It’s a project that makes me very proud and I’d like to thank the state government for two generous contributions towards this significant redevelopment.”
Image Credit: Mary-Anne Thomas MP