Adjournment - Wandella Recreation Reserve

Mr WALSH (Murray Plains) (19:04:52) — (14 589) My adjournment issue tonight is for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, and it probably fits into both of his portfolio titles. It concerns the Wandella Football Club, the Wandella Bombers, who are just west‑south‑west of Kerang and play in the Golden Rivers Football Netball League. They are a very strong club in that league and in that community and have won a lot of finals over the journey of that particular club. Their issue for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety is that, as I understand it, they have the only football oval in Victoria that is on a gravel road. It is a very challenging gravel road at times, particularly in wet weather.

Paul Daffey, who is a great football writer, wrote an article a number of years ago in the Age that clarified that this is the only football oval in country Victoria that is actually on a gravel road. They are on about 4 kilometres of gravel road. You turn off Quambatook Road onto McKenzie Road and then turn onto Wandella Road to actually get to the Wandella football ground, which is nestled in the Wandella Recreation Reserve, a sporting facility. Over the years they have spent a lot of money upgrading it. They have reformed the oval and put in a watering system, and the netball courts were upgraded recently. So it is a great family club at that facility, but people have a very poor gravel road to get there.

What I would ask of the minister is that out of his $100 million Fixing Country Roads Fund he provide a grant to the Shire of Gannawarra to upgrade that road and have it sealed so that there will no longer be any football ovals in Victoria that are on gravel roads. If we had continued in government and the country roads and bridges program had continued, this is a road that the Gannawarra shire had slated to be a beneficiary of the second round of the country roads and bridges program. I spoke to the shire engineer when we were there and we opened the new netball courts upgrade last year. He was very aware of the fact as that was one of his priorities as well. In the speech there he said that if the country roads and bridges program was ever returned, this is a road that would be done. So what I am asking of the minister is that, post the announcement of the $100 million Fixing Country Roads Fund in the budget this year, he make an allocation of money out of that fund so that the Wandella Football Club gets a sealed road to its football oval and it is a lot safer.

Particularly on Tuesday and Thursday nights, particularly at this time of year, there is a lot of traffic on that road in the dark. It would be great if it was sealed, and obviously every second Saturday there is a home match there and again a lot of traffic going to that ground because there are literally hundreds of cars going out on that road on a training night and on a Saturday. So if the minister could give consideration to actually using some of that Fixing Country Roads Fund to seal that road, that would be a very good outcome for the Wandella Football Club.


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