The State Sports Minister has been invited to East Gippsland to meet with the East Gippsland Hockey Association and discuss the prospect of a new synthetic hockey pitch for the region.
In inviting the Minister, State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said Hockey Victoria has recently released its Strategic Facilities Master Plan that identifies Bairnsdale as a preferred site for a synthetic pitch.
“The local association has been advocating for this facility for some time, particularly in the past 12 months, and that led to a Coalition commitment of $1.2 million to build the facility pre-election and the previous Sports Minister, Mr Drum, inspecting the site with association representatives.
“Unfortunately this commitment was not matched, so I have now invited the new Sports Minister down to meet with the Association and visit the site and gain a full understanding of the proposal,” Mr Bull said.
East Gippsland is one of only two regional Victorian Hockey Associations without a synthetic hockey pitch facility. It has just on 500 members across seven clubs and has worked actively, particularly of recent times, with the former State Government and East Gippsland Shire.
“I understand hockey Victoria has briefed the Minister on this plan, as has Sport and Recreation Victoria, so he will be aware of the project.
“I am also aware the local association and Hockey Victoria are currently looking at a ‘Pitch usage and management plan’ for this proposed facility.
“Given the rapid advancement in all of these areas, I have requested the Minister meet with me on site with the local association and he now has one month to respond to this formal request, which will provide an indication of his interest.
“I am also aware the Local Sports Foundation is keen to meet with the Minister and would be happy to facilitate this discussion as well,” Mr Bull said.