THE Mortlake library and information centre will soon make way for a combined community hub.
The project received a $500,000 State Government funding boost announced earlier this week as part of its Living Libraries Infrastructure Program.
Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins visited the library to announce the funding and said the new facilities would be a significant part of the township.
“Libraries are so important to local communities, that’s why we’re investing to build and upgrade libraries across our state,” she said.
“Libraries are the unsung heroes of our communities.
“This is an exciting development for the Mortlake community and we are proud to be able to provide support for important learning centres in regional Victoria.”
Moyne Shire Council will also contribute $300,000 to the project, while the Mortlake Community Development Committee (MCDC) will contribute $50,000.
Ms Hutchins said the funding program allowed for more opportunities for regional communities with less revenue than metropolitan councils.
The State Government recently altered the program’s conditions to remove the requirement for councils to provide matching funding.
“By making this change, it is creating better equity for our rural areas,” she said.
“I will continue to fight to make sure our libraries are represented.”
The plans for the hub included improved meeting spaces, upgraded toilet facilities, an expanded library space and more office spaces.
Moyne Shire mayor Jim Doukas welcomed the minister’s funding announcement for Mortlake.
“Today is a very special day for Mortlake,” he said.
MCDC president Keith Peart said the Mortlake community would look forward to using the new facility.
“The facility will be a relaxing place for visitors and locals alike,” he said.
Councillor Jill Parker praised council officers, including Greg Howat and Jacquie Anderton for their work in securing the funding.
“It (the new hub) will complement our brand new streetscape,” she said.
“I think we’re in for wonderful times ahead in Mortlake.”
Corangamite Regional Library Corporation chief executive officer Michael Scholtes said he and his staff were excited to see the new facility.
“It is a fantastic opportunity to create a community hub,” he said.