Creswick bowlers in limbo

CRESWICK Bowls Club president Gerry Flapper is hoping the federal government will be able to financially support the club’s relocation to Doug Lindsay Reserve.

The bowling club, which is on Creswick’s main street, was damaged by three successive floods between September 2010 and February 2011 and the bowling greens have been unplayable since then.

Mr Flapper said club members were in a state of limbo wondering when or if the bowling club would be rebuilt.

Last Thursday Member for Western Victoria David O’Brien urged local minister Catherine King to join in their fight to get the funding.

“The state government has put significant funding on the table to relocate Creswick Bowling Club, made up of $300,000 from Sports and Recreation Victoria and $600,000 from Rural Development Victoria,” Mr O’Brien said.

“However the shire’s federal application for $886,000 for these major works has apparently been rejected by Emergency Management Australia.”

Mr O’Brien said the Clunes tennis courts were previously approved for funding under the scheme however the bowling club had been deemed a non-essential asset.

Mr Flapper said bowling club members have had to travel to Ballarat to bowl almost every day.

“We have not had a permanent spot to play,” he said.

“The bowling club is not just for members, it is for the whole community. It is a community asset.

“This club has been in Creswick for 150 years and we will not let it just disappear.”

Hepburn Shire flood recovery manager Jenny Browne said there was evidence to suggest that Creswick bowling members were joining other clubs due to the funding delay.

“This has so many social and economic impacts,” she said.

“The club members can no longer practice or hold competitions at its home and the damaged club is a reminder of the flood damage right in the middle of Creswick.

“Unfortunately the funds application has been with the federal body since early last year and we still haven’t got a firm answer one way or the other.”

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