New Men’s Shed opens in Stratford
With up to 160 Men’s Sheds established in Victoria over the past five years, men in the Stratford region can now reap the benefits of this popular program with the official opening of the Stratford Men’s Shed last Friday by State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.
Mr Bull said, the Dixon Street shed was built thanks to a $33,387 grant from the Victorian Government and an enormous community contribution.
“The sheds give men a place to go where they can meet, talk and learn about important health and well-being issues and the whole community benefits from projects that they get involved in.”
Colin Counsell, secretary, Stratford Men’s Shed said, “the construction of this facility would not have proceeded without the State Government’s contribution and I also wish to thank members of the public and local business community for their support and in kind donations such as machinery.”
“In short, this really is a community working together in the best possible way and is a great success story resulting in the creation of a facility that will service the local community for many years to come. We, as a club are very proud of our achievement,” Mr Counsell said.
Community Services Minister, Mary Wooldridge, said through the Strengthening Men's Sheds Program, $700,000 will be available to refurbish existing men's sheds, with grants of up to $30,000 for assistance to redevelop and modify an existing shed to meet occupational health and safety and disability standards or to meet increased community demand for established shed activities.
“This latest round of funding is in addition to the Men's Shed Capacity Building Fund of $100,000 that is administered by the Victorian Men's Sheds Association to provide small grants to develop informal networks and tackle issues of sustainability.”
Successful applicants will be required to match their grants on a 2:1 ratio.
$150,000 for Heyfield Apex Park redevelopment
The popular Heyfield Apex Park will get a major overhaul thanks to Victorian Government funding of $150,000 towards a project that will see a number of new and upgraded features, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull said today.
“The park is the main play area in the town, but has not seen any significant investment for a number of years and the redevelopment project is the result of the community’s desire to have this public space rejuvenated,” Mr Bull said.
“This funding will allow Wellington Shire Council, which is also making a significant contribution of $125,000, to create an open space for the public which facilitates physical activity and social connectedness,” Mr Bull said.
The project will greatly enhance the parkland, which contains infrastructure that is out of date and in some cases not compliant with current standards and these improvements include:
> a new picnic shelter > a new regional play space catering to children from four through to 16 > significant landscaping improvements using low-water-use indigenous plants > solar-powered lighting > improved information signage > better connections to the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail
Mr Bull said he was delighted to be joined by Cr Malcolm Hole at the announcement and Cr Hole reinforced Wellington Shire’s commitment to the project.
Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan, said Victorian Government funding for the $275,000 Heyfield Apex Park Redevelopment project would be provided to Wellington Shire Council through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund’s Putting Locals First Program.
“Putting Locals First is a $100 million initiative that enables regional communities to devise and deliver service and infrastructure responses that reflect local priorities,” Mr Ryan said.
“It is supporting stronger and more sustainable regional communities by building their capacity to drive development in their region.”
The ‘Heyfield Apex Park Redevelopment’ project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.