Mildura Mayor Simon Clemence with Member for Mildura Ali Cupper and the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula who were joined by MRCC and sporting group representatives at today’s meeting. Photo: Courtesy Ali Cupper Facebook

IN a surprise visit, the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula was in town on Wednesday to hear first hand about the Mildura South Regional Sporting Precinct (MSRSP) in a meeting with Mildura Rural City Council (MRCC) and stakeholders to discuss the project.

The Minister’s consultation comes in the wake of the Premier’s promise on his recent visit to Mildura to “take a look at the funding shortfall” for the MSRSP project which is a key component of the Mildura Future Ready Plan.

The $36.5million project, which is set to commence construction in the near future, currently has an almost $10million shortfall in funding, and Member for Mildura Ali Cupper, along with the MRCC, is seeking this amount from the State Government.

Ms Cupper told the Mildura Weekly that the Minister had given a guarantee that he would be putting this forward to treasury for it to be included in the budget.

“That is a major hurdle that has been over come,” she said.

“The Minister had already done a lot of thinking about it and came well versed, and presented as very knowledgable about the project and was asking very pertinent questions of the assembled stakeholders, which I thought was a good sign.  

“It was very promising and not a token visit – I will now meet with the Premier to take our case further and we remain very hopeful of a positive outcome.” 

Mildura Mayor Simon Clemence said that the Minister was given a presentation on the Mildura South Sporting Precinct project, following which Council put their case to him.

“He was told about the funding shortfall and the Minister was very receptive and is very keen to try and assist us,” Cr Clemence said.

“He gave an assurance to do what he can and is certainly on board and understands the importance and need for the funding required, and he’s certainly going to take that back to Spring Street and argue the case on our behalf the best he can.”

Cr Clemence said the stakeholders from the local sporting groups who attended the meeting were also very encouraged by the Minister’s visit.

“Everyone is feeling encouraged by his comments, although he was careful to point out that he was restrained in how much he may be able to bring to the table in this current budget period,” he said.

“His commentary however certainly suggests that he is positive about our opportunities.”