Thumbs up for helipad

Thanks for voting: Members of the Cobden Airport Committee of Management celebrated news a project to see a helipad installed for emergency services use at the airport was successful.

PEOPLE power has seen three local projects get over the line in the Pick My Project funding scheme.

Announced last week, the Cobden Airstrip helipad project, fit out for the Cobden gym and lighting at the Simpson Speedway were all successful in gaining more than $300,000 in funding.

The local projects were among more than 230 successful projects across the state to receive funding as part of the Pick My Project initiative.

Pick My Project allowed community groups to not only submit projects for funding, but vote for their favourites.

Receiving over 400 votes the Air Ambulance Helipad project to be installed at the Cobden Airstrip was an overwhelming favourite amongst voters.

Cobden Airport Committee of Management chairman Bill Woodmason said it was welcome news.

“We’re really chuffed, we’re really pleased,” he said.

“It just adds another piece of the puzzle for the airport.”

Mr Woodmason said air ambulance staff were also pleased with the news.

“The Hems 4 group really love coming to Cobden so we want to provide a proper landing place,” he said.

“It (the Cobden Airstrip) is a safe and private place for them to do transfers.

“They’re pleased.”

The project was expected to be completed in six to 12 months time.

Mr Woodmason paid tribute to local community members for voting for the project.

He also spoke highly of the Pick My Project initiative and said it was the “perfect vehicle” to provide such an important service for the community.

“Thank you to the local community; I think we got the highest amount of votes,” he said.

“They’ve been very good supporters. The community is what has got it over the line.”

The Simpson Car Club Inc successfully secured $88,781 to upgrade current lighting at the track with new LED lighting.

Club president Alan Symons said club members “could not believe” the good news.

“We weren’t expecting it at all to be honest,” he said.

“The lights in the centre of the track are probably 30 years old and are running at about 60 per cent capacity.

“We’ve got three Victorian titles this year, two Australian titles next year and it (the light upgrades) was becoming necessary.”

Mr Symons said lighting engineers would work out exactly what lighting was needed.

“Hopefully within the next month experts will be in looking,” he said

“Hopefully they (the light upgrades) will be done during the season”.

Cobdenhealth chief executive officer Leonie Rooney said all involved in the project were “ecstatic” to have been successful with the Cobden Community Gymnasium entry in Pick My Project.

“It is a wonderful endorsement of support from our local community and we are so grateful to everyone who voted, and to the State Government for this initiative,” she said.

“We will receive $185,343 for special rehabilitation and wheelchair gym equipment, regular equipment, temperature control, solar power, TV/sound system and landscaping.

“The special equipment may take some months to have on-site, however we anticipate the gym will be completed this month and ready by November.”

Ms Rooney said the Pick My Project funding would “really make the gym something special”.

She said it would be a great asset for the community.

“We are looking forward to its grand opening and hope to see everyone there,” Ms Rooney said.

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