February 20, 2014  |  Members Statement

Smythesdale Business, Health and Community Hub

Mr HOWARD (Ballarat East)— I was pleased to travel to  Smythesdale last week and visit The Well,  not a hole in the ground but an innovative business, health and community hub opened in 2008 as  a $1.4 million project undertaken by Golden Plains  Shire Council with $150 000 in funding from the former government.  This has clearly been a very successful project. Ballarat Community Health provides a GP  clinic four days per week. Other medical services are  also provided,  and a commercial  pharmacy operates  on  site. Several other  spaces  are taken up  by community groups, including the local historical society, and many local events, including a walking group, operate out of this hub.

Due to the success of the hub, Golden Plains Shire Council placed it on its list for federal funding in round 5 of the Regional Development Australia  grants and was expecting to attract $850 000 to further extend and enhance The Well.

However, with the election of the Abbott government round 5 funding grants  have been cancelled.  Golden Plains Shire  Council and the Smythesdale community will now  look elsewhere for funding support,  and I  hope that  we can  secure state funding to support this project.