Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford announces $1.1m cash injection for Donald sport stadium project

THE state government will invest $1.1 million in a community driven redevelopment project at Donald’s major sports and recreation complex – AA Dunstan Stadium.

Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford was due to announce the grant at a fundraiser event on Friday night, where the community had aimed to raise $250,000 toward the project.

Ms Pulford said Donald had suffered through droughts and floods in recent years and the stadium had remained the focal point for the town.

She said in a town of 1700 people, more than 600 people used the facility each week.

Ms Pulford said the project would transform the town’s ageing sporting infrastructure into a vibrant multipurpose community facility to serve the community well into the future.

​“Sport is one of the foundations and fabrics of living in regional Victoria. We’re so proud to help the Donald community achieve their dream of having a modern, multipurpose sports and events centre,” she said. 

“Every Victorian deserves the very best sporting infrastructure. From emerging young gun athletes in the Wimmera who will enjoy new change-rooms to spectators who will have better seating and function spaces, we’re proud to play our part in this historic redevelopment.”

The redevelopment will provide an integrated community hub with facilities for indoor and outdoor sports, and expanded potential for hosting private functions and community events.

The project includes an extension to the stadium with new basketball and netball courts; replaced internal walls and flooring; cricket practice nets; upgraded female and disabled toilets; space for the development of a community gym; a community meeting room; and refurbishments to the function room.

It will benefit more than 30 groups including sporting clubs, scouts, guides, tourism groups, a men’s shed, fishing, the Pastoral and Agricultural Society, and the arts.

Ms Pulford said the project would inject $2.85 million into the local economy and support 11 jobs during the construction phase.

The government’s investment is from the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund and the Community Sports Infrastructure Fund.

The project also has funding support from Buloke Shire Council and Sport and Recreation Victoria and also fulfils a Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership priority.

“This is a real game-changer for sport in Donald. This community deserves a modern stadium they can be proud of and we’re thrilled to help make it happen,” Sport Minister John Eren.