Building the infrastructure for local sporting facilities in the south west has unconditional support from Western District MP and South West Coast candidate James Purcell.
Mr Purcell said the recent report calling for $77.4 million to bring sporting facilities across the municipalities of Warrnambool, Moyne, Glenelg, Corangamite and Southern Grampians came as no surprise.
"Securing funding for these projects is one of my top priorities if I'm elected next week," said Mr Purcell.
"Over the past four years I have had a constant stream of community sporting groups asking for support to raise funds for improvements and I've been able to help many fund their projects,."
Mr Purcell said he had used his position as a cross-bencher in the upper house to negotiate funding for sporting projects in the region ranging from large redevelopments such as the $7 million Reid Oval funding and the $2 million rebuild of Port Fairy Bowls Club through to smaller club projects such as $400,000 for the Koroit Football Netball Club change-room and netball developments and $288,000 for Hanlon Park lighting in Portland.
"These clubs benefit our communities way beyond the sporting events they facilitate. They are a vital source of community, entertainment and support for our youth, families and the elderly and provide avenues to deliver many social services, such as suicide prevention training.
"When a community is in pain they gather together in these sporting clubs and support each other. We've seen it during major disasters such as the St Patricks Day fires, but also at a personal level fundraising for medical treatments for individuals in a community," he said.
Mr Purcell said over the past month he had reached out to the community for ideas for projects and services needed in the area to help him formulate an agenda of local issues and projects to take to the new parliament.
"Many of those are from local sporting groups who want to expand and improve their facilities and I have no hesitation in recommending them for funding," he said.
Mr Purcell said he was keen to work with the community and local councils to create a strategy for ensuring facilities across the region were up to standard and groups received the support and funding they needed.