Direction set for Mildura Future Ready funding strategy
Published on 22 November 2017
Council has determined the first steps it intends to take to secure funding for the Mildura Future Ready (MFR) advocacy and funding strategy.
MFR aims to attract significant government investment to turnaround our region’s disturbing economic and social wellbeing trends by making four key projects a reality, which in turn will generate 1000 jobs and $400 million in economic benefit over the next three to five years.
- Stage 2 of the Mildura Riverfront Redevelopment
- Mildura South Regional Sporting Precinct
- Mildura Motorsports and Community Precinct
- Return Mildura’s passenger train
Councillors will consider a report at next month’s Ordinary Council Meeting that provides an MFR funding strategy and financial options to support an application for $10 million in the current round of Federal Government Building Better Regions (BBR) funding to start work on the Mildura South Regional Sporting Precinct.
The MFR strategy will also recommend to Council that a further BBR application for $10 million be made in 2018 for the Mildura Motorsports and Community Precinct.
The announcement follows the successful Melbourne unveiling last night of the Mildura Motorsports and Community Precinct project, along with MFR, in front of an audience that included Victorian Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford, key Victorian Government staff, potential private investors and CAMS Chief Executive Officer Eugene Arocca.
Some of the biggest and most influential names in Australian motor sport were also at last night’s event, including Mark Skaife as well as our own local heroes Cameron and Josh Waters.
In addition, Council will continue discussions with the Victorian Government, which have been ongoing since MFR was announced in August, in a bid to secure state government funding for both projects. Discussions are also ongoing to negotiate land use arrangements for Stage 2 of the Mildura Riverfront Redevelopment for land currently owned by the Victorian Government.
Council’s General Manager Community Martin Hawson stressed that the direction for the coming 12 months was determined by funding opportunities available rather than ‘prioritising’ projects, highlighting the fact that MFR is a five-year plan.
“This is very much about sequencing, rather than prioritising, which is an important distinction to make” he said.
“Each component within MFR is critical to the future of our region and has equal priority. This initial BBR funding application is possible because of the ability to stage the Mildura South Regional Sporting Precinct project in a way that meets the funding criteria. The timing of the current BBR funding round means we can’t lock in matching contributions other than the council contribution, and therefore have to re-scope the project into smaller staged components.
“By applying for 2018 BBR funding for the Mildura Motorsports and Community Precinct, it will allow time to secure the required $6.5 million in private investment, which is a requirement of the BBR funding criteria. Last night’s Melbourne launch was designed to attract such an investor.”
If the plan is endorsed by Councillors next month, Council expects to be notified by May next year if it has been successful in its first BBR funding bid.
Work is continuing on the other two MFR components, with discussions now under way to determine what the passenger rail feasibility study will look at, and potential partners, including Shires and Councils along the passenger rail corridor.
Planning for the second stage of the Riverfront Redevelopment is also progressing, including determining what the public components of the precinct will include and ongoing discussions with VicTrack.
Mr Hawson said Council would continue to explore other funding opportunities, including opportunities that may arise through Federal and Victorian elections in the coming two years, to ensure MFR achieved its goals over the next three to five years.
p) (03) 5018 8689