Mildura Weekly : Friday October 13 Vol 11 No 49
ROAR SUPPORT FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2017 VOL 11#49 MILDURAWEEKLY.COM.AU FREE EVERY FRIDAY Triumphant Tigers back Mildura Future Ready initiative By Vinnie Rodi firstname.lastname@example.org @MilduraWeekly @MilduraWeekly MILDURA Rural City Council (MRCC) has secured a major partner in its ef- forts to improve the economic and social well-being of residents, with the Richmond Football Club this week throwing its support behind the Mil- dura Future Ready (MFR) plan. MFR aims to “revive” the region’s economic and social well-being by securing $88million in funding to ensure four key projects – Stage 2 of the Mildura Riverfront Redevelopment, the Mildura South Regional Sporting Precinct, the Mildura Motorsports and Community Precinct, and the return of Mildura’s passenger rail ser- vices – become a reality by 2022. The plan also aims to generate more than 1000 jobs and $400million in economic out- put. Councillor for Economic Development and Tourism, Mark Eckel, and MRCC general man- ager Community, Martin Hawson, were yester- day joined by Richmond Football Club general manager Football, Neil Balme, at the proposed Sixteenth Street and Deakin Avenue site of the Mildura South Regional Sporting Precinct. The site is earmarked to house an indoor sporting complex and two football ovals – one of which is being designed to attract AFL-level competition. Mr Balme, along with a contingent of rep- resentatives from both the Tigers and Aligned Leisure – the club’s development arm – also presented to Councillors yesterday, with Mr Balme saying the Tigers were excited by the MFR initiative. Sunraysia has long been a Richmond stronghold, acting as a recruiting zone for the club at one time. Several young Indigenous residents are also a part of Richmond’s KGI Academy. “A place like Mildura is so far away from Melbourne, and doesn’t have a loud voice – we as a club do,” Mr Balme said. “We’re quite involved in the area already... so we already know quite a lot of the people, so it really is a natural fit for us, and a good opportunity to come and talk to Council and let them know that we want to become more immersed in this relationship. “I think it will be great for both parties, and ...and Premiership Cup confirmed for Mildura visit • BLOSSOMING PARTNERSHIP: Mildura Councillor for Economic Development and Tourism, Mark Eckel, with Richmond Football Club general manager Football, Neil Balme. The 2017 AFL Premiers have this week thrown their support behind the Mildura Future Ready initiative. Photo: PAUL MENSCH with building the new precinct in this area it creates opportunities for our Next Generation Academy, and opens the door for us to come and play JLT (pre-season) games here. Who knows what will happen.” Mr Balme ruled out any financial assis- tance for the MFR initiative, saying the club’s involvement would come solely through of- fering advocacy and support. “It wouldn’t make sense for us to invest in the project (financially), but what we can do is look to host events here,” he said. “We cer- tainly think it would be a good place to host a pre-season camp or play a game.” Mr Balme also said the return of a passen- ger rail service would help create opportuni- ties. Mr Hawson said Council and the Rich- mond Football Club had been working to- gether for the past 12 months to build a re- lationship. “That’s included looking at the synergies between the Richmond Football Club and what we need to do as a community,” he said. “As we got more into discussions there was a whole lot coming out... They’re doing a whole lot of stuff in development areas. “The club has shown real support for what we are doing with MFR... including the facil- ity we want to build here in Mildura South. “It’s very much a partnership that is look- ing at advocacy, and looking at what they can bring to the community, and look at what we can bring to them.” Mr Hawson also touched on what Coun- cil has been doing to secure funding for MFR. He said that Council had predominantly been undertaking “background work” with the Vic- torian Government and Regional Develop- ment Victoria investigating what a funding model for the project would look like. “I’d be suggesting by early next year we’ll be in a position to put a bid in... and that’s where advocacy comes to the fore,” he said. “The majority of funding for this project has to come from all three levels of government, and private investment. “In regards to private investment it’s very much a wait and see, and what will drive that is public investment.” Cr Eckel said that any successful advocacy strategy is about building partnerships and making connections. “We can’t think of a better partnership to start with than the most successful AFL club in the country at the moment – the Richmond Football Club,” he said. “I believe after today’s briefing Neil could see the benefits of this strat- egy for our region, but also for Richmond.” And in another boost for local Tiger fans, Mr Balme confirmed the 2017 AFL Premier- ship Cup, won by the Tigers two weeks ago, will visit the region in the coming months.
Friday October 6 Vol 11 No 48
Friday October 20 Vol 11 No 50