Thousands of clubs will benefit in a deal that will also see the MCG and Etihad Stadium redeveloped and the AFL Grand Final stay in Victoria for the next 40 years.
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 will fund upgrades to facilities at suburban grounds, local clubs and high-performance centres across the state.
It includes $64.6 million for a major upgrade to the State Hockey and Netball Centre, and tens of millions of dollars in better infrastructure for women’s sport – from local changerooms to elite facilities – including:
- $20 million to redevelop Ikon Park into the home of women’s football
- $15 million for the Female Friendly Facilities Fund so women and girls are no longer treated as second thoughts at grounds across Victoria
- $13 million for Stage 2 of the Moorabbin Oval redevelopment, to enable the Saints AFLW team to play there from 2020
- $10 million to improve playing conditions at Casey Fields and Whitten Oval for AFLW competition
- $2 million for infrastructure upgrades at Victoria Park
The Victorian Budget also provides a further $60 million for the Community Sporting Infrastructure Fund and $100 million towards the innovative Community Sports Infrastructure Loans Scheme to provide lower interest rate loans to support councils, clubs, schools and facility managers invest in sport and recreation infrastructure.
It also provides $15.4 million to go towards upgrades at Albert Park, Yarra Bend and other key suburban sporting precincts, as well as $17.7 million for the Significant Sporting Events Program, which will fund more than 75 national and international sporting events every year – more than half of them in regional Victoria.
The Victorian Government has also signed a landmark deal with the AFL that will deliver a major redevelopment of the Etihad Stadium Precinct and guarantee the AFL Grand Final will stay at the MCG, until at least 2057, and at least eight Cats games at Kardinia Park for the next 30 years.
The long-term security of keeping the Grand Final at the MCG will enable the Melbourne Cricket Club to plan for the future redevelopment of the Southern Stand.
The Victorian Government will invest $225 million into the deal, which will not only secure the future of Etihad Stadium, but also the MCG and Kardinia Park.