Council pushes for $10m Landy Field upgrade

Geelong council will apply for $5 million of funds intended for the cancelled Commonwealth Games to help upgrade South Geelong’s John Landy Athletics Field.

Councillors voted unanimously at this week’s meeting to apply for the funds through the state government’s Council Support Package, which provides up to $5 million for projects in cities that were due to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

The council also resolved to contribute $5 million from its own budget for the project, which would include the construction of a two-storey pavilion and grandstand as well as upgrades to the athletic track and the long and triple jump areas.

Chair of the Active Spaces portfolio Councillor Eddy Kontelj moved the motion, saying upgrades to “the only world-accredited athletic track in Western Victoria” had been a long time coming.

“There was… a significant intent to upgrade the facilities at Landy Field through the council’s 2022-2023 budget; unfortunately, due to constraints, it was not able to go ahead in that period of time,” Cr Kontelj said.

“This $5 million, plus a pre-commitment for $5 million from council, is much needed to be able to upgrade the facilities… there’s not one sporting group that benefits from Landy Field, it’s the entire community.

“With about 1000 people using the facility each week during athletics season, there is a lot of young people coming through the sport, and this is a great way we need to support them.”

Deputy Mayor Anthony Aitken highlighted the pressing need to get the athletics track itself up to standard.

“The track is at end of life… the reality is by the 30th of June this year, we lose its accreditation based on the current quality of the track,” Cr Aitken said.

“We will undertake the track upgrade irrespective of the Commonwealth Games funding bid that we’re putting forward tonight. And that track upgrade will commence as quickly as possible under our asset renewal program.

“The reason being, ultimately, it’s the track that’s the most important thing down at John Landry Field, and without a quality track that actually has international accreditation, there’s no point running as fast or jumping as far or throwing as far as you can at that facility.”