$6.6 Million for Latrobe City Infrastructure Projects to Improve Health, Social Wellbeing

Media Release

FN012/2017

12 February 2017

Joint release with:

Darren Chester

Federal Member for Gippsland

Kellie O'Callaghan

Mayor of Latrobe City Council

Upgrades to a recreation reserve and an iconic walking track connecting Morwell and Traralgon will be funded by the Australian Government through its Hazelwood Investment Package.

Member for Gippsland Darren Chester made the $6.6 million announcement today in Morwell.

The iconic Morwell to Traralgon Shared Pathway will receive up to $1.6 million to help provide a much-needed connection between two of Latrobe City’s largest towns. The pathway will enable Morwell and Traralgon to leverage off nearby rail trails and national park walks.

Also included is a $5 million upgrade of Morwell Recreation Reserve, including new netball courts, a synthetic playing field and multi-use sports pavilion.

Mr Chester said the new pathway and recreation reserve upgrades would provide health and wellbeing benefits, while also boosting community confidence in the Latrobe Valley.

"Local sporting clubs are part of the social fabric in regional communities," Mr Chester said.

"The upgrades to the Morwell Recreation Reserve are an important part of keeping our community together with the impending closure of Hazelwood Power Station.

"The existing female sport and basic facilities at the Morwell reserve aren’t up to standard. This investment will help provide the facilities our community deserves.

"But the benefits extend beyond the local netball, cricket and football clubs. This investment is a sign of confidence in the future of Morwell, and the wider Latrobe Valley community."

Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said the Latrobe City community had driven the funding priorities.

"Local communities know what’s best for their region, including what projects will provide the greatest benefit to the community," Minister Nash said.

"I aim to help build the kinds of communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to and local facilities like these help to do just that."

Latrobe City Mayor Kellie O’Callaghan said the projects were identified as high priorities for government funding in its Strength-Led Transition plan.

"Latrobe City is leading the way in providing advice to government on local priorities, informed by our Community Conversations," Cr O’Callaghan said.

"Job creation and the development of an attractive, well serviced, connected community is critical to attracting and retaining highly skilled staff and their families.

"Upgrades to community assets and infrastructure facilitates community connectedness, health and wellbeing. The community believes the future of the Valley is more than economics and the social and cultural aspects of life in the Latrobe Valley are of equal measure."

Latrobe City Council will implement the projects.