Maree Edwards, Margaret O’Rourke and Jacinta Allan with South Bendigo Football and Netball Club and Bendigo United Cricket Club members. Photo: Sharon Kemp.

A nine-year campaign to upgrade the clubrooms at Harry Trott Oval in Kennington will get a financial kick along if Labor wins government.

Bendigo East MP Jacinta Allan today pledged $2 million to put towards the construction of a new club facility with changerooms, officials’ rooms and function areas.

In a further development, detailed plans for the project should be finalised this financial year.

The City of Greater Bendigo is treating the project as a priority, although it has yet to allocate funding for construction.

Mayor Margaret O’Rourke said the council would also need a federal government contribution to complete what is expected to cost $5.5m.

“We welcome this (Labor) announcement, we need assistance from the state government and also from the federal government for large projects now and we have seen that already with Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre and the (Bendigo Regional Hockey Centre redevelopment),”Cr O’Rourke said.

“We can’t do that without all three levels of government working together with the community groups and they also participate with fundraising as well.”

Ms Allan said the precinct would also be enhanced by installing electronic scoreboards in the coming months, and the netball courts had been fully upgraded.

“It is a big facility because there is a big club base that will be established here at Harry Trott,” Ms Allan said.

“Essentially this building will be demolished and there will be new facilities that will be established on this site.”

The new facility will accommodate the move of South Bendigo Football Netball Club from the QEO and growth in junior sides across all sports.

Club vice president Alan Ellis said between SBFNC and Bendigo United Cricket Club there was more than 20 junior sides.

Harry Trott is BUCC’s home ground.

“It has been a long process to get to this point and we have built our juniors up in numbers over the years so it means a lot to us to be able to have functions here and get our juniors to come through into our senior ranks,” BUCC president David Bicknell said.

Liberal candidate Ian Ellis said he couldn’t commit to matching Labor’s election promise, but he would advocate for it if elected.

“Have they committed to it, or have they borrowed $2m from China?” Mr Ellis asked, referring to the memorandum of understanding premier Daniel Andrews  signed with China to join its multitrillion-dollar Belt and Road trade initiative, details of which were released by the Labor party this week.

– Sharon Kemp