May 4, 2009

$2.4 million for newFarm Vigano Community & Cultural Centre in Whittlesea

$2.4 million for new Farm Vigano Community & Cultural Centre in Whittlesea


The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 4 2009

Infrastructure and Local Government Minister Anthony Albanese has announced that the Rudd Labor Government will offer up to $2.45 million towards the new $4.25 million Farm Vigano Community and Cultural Centre in South Morang within the City of Whittlesea.

Mr Albanese announced the funding to redevelop one of Victoria’s important historical sites with Member for Scullin, Harry Jenkins, and Mary Lalios, Mayor of Whittlesea.

The Rudd Government is investing in major community projects like this to support jobs and stimulate local economies during the global economic recession.

The City of Whittlesea was also significantly affected by the recent Victorian bushfires. This project will help rebuild community spirit and encourage economic and tourism investment into the region.

The funding is part of our $800 million Community Infrastructure Program – the largest one-off investment in local infrastructure in Australia’s history.

The Farm Vigano project, which was put forward by the City of Whittlesea, is intended to recognise the contribution of southern European migrants in Melbourne.

It is a heritage property established in 1934 by Mario and Maria Teresa Vigano, who played an important role in introducing Italian culture and food to Melbourne.

Once complete, the Community and Cultural Centre will provide a range of activities such as community gardening, cooking, creative arts, woodwork and cultural programs.

Federal funding will contribute to the construction and final design, which includes:

  •  A multi-purpose building integrated with community gardens that are open for tourists, local residents and community groups seven days a week;
  •  Delivering services for senior citizens clubs and community groups, including local Italian, Greek and Chinese senior citizens groups;
  •  Providing a venue for local primary school students from Lalor, Thomastown, South Morang and Mernda; and
  •  Delivering specialised community activities for people with progressive neurological disorders and physical, sensory and intellectual disorders.

The funding announced today builds on the $1.5 million we have already delivered for 15 local infrastructure projects in the City of Whittlesea. It brings investment by the Rudd Government for Whittlesea community infrastructure to nearly $4 million this year.

Nearly 70 per cent of the stimulus package is on infrastructure, with construction of projects already underway.

More than 3,000 projects are being funded by the Government’s Community Infrastructure Program across Australia to support jobs and deliver long-term benefits to our communities.