The Keilor Gift could be resurrected next year if Brimbank council’s draft 2017-18 budget is approved next month.
A line item in the draft budget papers says the prestigious footrace would be supported and given increased funding.
The exact amount of money is not specified in the document, made public last Tuesday, but a council spokeswoman said the 83-year-old race would be allocated $25,000.
In October last year, event organisers called off the 2017 Gift three months out from race day after Brimbank council withdrew 50 per cent of its funding and indicated further cuts would be likely.
Keilor Gift chairman Hayden Kelly said the new funding commitment was “welcome news” but he was wary of celebrating until the budget was formally adopted.
He praised the efforts of councillor Virginia Tachos, who he said fought to have the historic Keilor event revived.
“The support of the incoming councillors has been almost universal,” he said.
“It’s been driven by Virginia Tachos, who’s done a great job.
“If the draft budget is approved, the race will be back on next year.”
The Gift is just one item on an extensive list of community events and ideas funded in the draft budget. Many of them were raised at community consultation sessions in February and March. The consultation sessions have also led the council to commit $5000 to a plan aimed at encouraging women’s participation in sport.
Sunshine resident Sarah van Rees, who started a petition seeking a Brimbank breastfeeding support centre five months ago, said she was thrilled the draft budget contained $30,000 for a lactation service.
The draft budget also commits $20,000 to restoring Brimbank’s snake catcher service which was axed about two years ago because of “budget pressures”.
The 2017-18 draft budget includes a rate rise of 2 per cent, in line with the state government’s rate-rise cap.
It outlines a capital works program of almost $60.1 million that would include more than $26 million being spent on roads, footpaths, drainage upgrades and pedestrian facilities; $11 million upgrading town centres; $3.1 million for parks and playgrounds; $8.8 million on sports facilities; and $2.6 million on walking and cycling paths.
The draft budget will be made available to the public and submissions are invited until June 14.
Submissions will be heard on July 18.
October 31, 2016: 2017 Keilor Gift called off over $5000 funding shortfall
October 25, 2016: 2017 Keilor Gift called off and its future uncertain
October 18, 2016: Next year’s Keilor Gift pulled due to funding cuts