Member for Monbulk James Merlino has announced $900,000 to help upgrade the home of the AFL’s TAC Cup Eastern Ranges Football Club in Kilsyth.

The $2.1 million Kilsyth Centre of Sport Excellence at the Kilsyth Recreation reserve is being delivered in partnership with the Yarra Ranges Shire, AFL Victoria, the Bendigo Bank and Federal Government.

The centre will benefit all levels of Australian Rules and specialise in delivering education programs, coach and player development programs, an AFL Youth Girls Academy, basketball, gymnasium facilities and an administrative base for the AFL Yarra Ranges Region Commission.

The funding is part of the $50-million Growing Suburbs Fund (GSF), designed to provide crucial facilities to Melbourne’s outer suburbs.

This is in stark contrast to the Victorian Liberals’ thought bubble population plan to move Melburnians to the regions. We are putting our growing outer suburbs first providing them with the projects and facilities they need.

Thirty-four community projects were funded across our outer suburbs as part of last year’s GSF, which included family and community centres, town centres, parks and reserves and playgrounds based on the needs identified by Councils.

Last week, Mr Merlino announced three other projects funded for the Yarra Ranges from the GSF including $1 million for the Upwey Tecoma Community Recreational and Sporting Hub, $500,000 for the Belgrave South Community Sports Pavilion and $125,000 for the Changing Places toilet facility project in Yarra Glen.

In 2015 the Yarra Ranges Shire received $3,032,000 from the GSF toward the delivery of four projects; the Lilydale Lake playground upgrade, the Montrose Town Centre facility, the Belgrave Community Hub and the Kimberley Reserve Active Living Hub.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins

“The Growing Suburbs Fund is all about making Melbourne’s outer suburban communities more liveable places with the facilities they need.”

“These projects are a great example of the partnership between the Victorian and local governments working to deliver for our communities.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino

“This is another example of the Andrews Labor Government putting people first and delivering critical playground, community centres and sporting facilities for our local communities.”

“This exciting project will deliver the best facilities for young people in the outer east as they pursue their elite AFL dreams.”