Brimbank council’s grand plans to redevelop the St Albans Leisure Centre have been dealt a blow.
The council applied for the state government’s $3 million better pools grant earlier this year and requires $25 million from the state and federal governments to complete the project.
However, mayor Margaret Giudice said the application for the better pools grant had been rejected.
“Today I, along with Brimbank council CEO Helen Morrissey, met with Minister for Sport John Eren, and Member for St Albans, Natalie Suleyman, to express our extreme disappointment our application for $3 million from Sport and Recreation Victoria’s Better Pools Fund was knocked back,” Cr Giudice said.
“This funding was to help rebuild the tired but much-loved St Albans Leisure Centre with a vibrant, welcoming and innovative multi-generational health and wellbeing hub, which will make real improvements to the health of our community.”
Despite the setback, Cr Giudice said the council will push ahead with its plans.
“Brimbank needs this new aquatic, health and wellbeing hub – not only because of the immeasurable benefits it will bring to people in the west, but because our community deserves facilities and assets of a standard so commonly funded and delivered elsewhere in the state,” Cr Giudice said.
“We have put an enormous amount of work into developing this project. We have partners in place, project managers appointed and design concepts in motion and, most importantly, an incredible amount of community support, as evidenced by the success of our physical and online pledge walls.
“We remain absolutely determined to secure state and federal support to help council deliver this innovative Australia-first project for Brimbank, and we look forward to working closely with the state government over the coming months to ensure its success.”
Cr Giudice said the council has been assured the project is still a priority project for the state government.
St Albans MP Natalie Suleyman said the project has her support.
“I’ll always back new sport facilities for our local community, and I’ll continue to back this great project,” Ms Suleyman said.