Community champions named for Aquatic Centre and Indoor Stadium

Posted on 7 February 2018


Latrobe City Council has endorsed the appointment of the key community players in the planning and development of the Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre (GRAC) and the Traralgon Sports Stadium (TSS) expansion at last night’s regular meeting.

Alan McAuliffe has been named as the community representative in a nine-person Project Reference Group to help guide the $46 million GRAC project, while Matthew Addison will fill the equivalent role on the 11-member PRG for the $17 million TSS redevelopment.

Latrobe City mayor, Councillor Darrell White said these appointments marked important steps forward for the major infrastructure projects.

“The reference groups will ensure a coherent approach between Council and community is undertaken. Local people continue to play a leading role in guiding the future of these critical pieces of infrastructure,” Cr White said.

“The role of the PRGs is to provide advice and feedback on engagement strategies and to act as advocates for the project back into the community.

“This is an integral component of Council’s community engagement process, and the appointment of these groups is a vital step toward building these state of the art regional facilities.”

Mr McAuliffe was selected for his long history of community service and involvement in aquatic sports, including more than 25 years of competitive swimming and water polo.

The Glengarry local has also served on the Morwell Swimming Club committee and is the current president of the Glengarry Mechanics Institute committee of management.

“I’m so passionate about swimming and water sports, I thought being involved in the new aquatic centre would be a good opportunity to put something back into the community that I’ve got a bit of knowledge about,” Mr McAuliffe said.

“I’d love to see a 50 metre indoor pool and all the facilities (Latrobe Leisure) Morwell has, so it’s a one stop spot for fitness for the Latrobe Valley and surrounding areas.

“I’m very honoured to be on the PRG and I’ll have open ears to anyone who wants to talk about their vision for the GRAC.”

Mr Addison has developed strong community links over 25 years in local real estate, and helped establish the Latrobe City Business Tourism Association where he served as a board member for a decade.

He has a strong association with junior sport as the current president of TEDAS Junior Football Club, an umpire and a junior basketball and football coach.

“Having two young boys myself that are actively involved in basketball and other sport I have an interest in seeing that the area has a very good quality sporting precinct,” Mr Addison said.

“We are pushing for and have attracted large sporting events to the region… so if we can make improvements to that stadium and we can attract the likes of Collingwood Football and Netball Club to come to the region more often it will only help improve it.

“I know that the facility is well used by families and I know a lot of people that would like to see improvements to the venue made… I’m looking forward to getting into it, and seeing where we can take the stadium for the next generation.”

Mr McAuliffe and Mr Addison will be joined on their respective PRGs by Latrobe City councillors and officers, user group representatives, stakeholders and community group members.

The major infrastructure projects of the Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre and the Traralgon Sports Stadium are funded by the State Government’s $85 million Latrobe Valley Sports and Community Initiative, overseen by Latrobe Valley Authority.

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