Museum plan on MOVE

By Thomas Moir

A truck and transport museum proposal for the city is MOVE-ing fast.

And tomorrow it looks sets to MOVE even further ahead.

Greater Shepparton councillors are being recommended to endorse a business case for the Museum of Vehicle Evolution proposal and provide funding of $1.37million towards the project, subject to all other funding arrangements being in place.

Last week, one of the project’s spearheads, Peter Hill, said about $1.25million had been raised in community contributions, that the project was on track to start construction in the first half of this year, with the hope it would be completed next year.

The project was allocated $2.5million in Federal Government funding in March 2017.

Mr Hill said milestones attached to some project funding meant the project would progress quickly.

Officers recommend councillors at a meeting tomorrow night vote to provide financial support subject to MOVE securing funding from the Victorian and federal governments and private industry, as well as a formal funding agreement between both parties.

A background report to tomorrow’s meeting highlights that nearly 25 per cent of all Victorian trucks are registered in the region.

Discussions have been happening for a number of years around the idea, which aims to produce a new tourism asset and honour the region’s truck and transport history.

In October 2017, the council gave in-principle support to the project, contingent on demonstration all other funding had been secured and the project had a council-approved business case.

While the community contributions have already exceeded $1million, the council background details that, ‘‘the target for donors is now being increased from a minimum of $1.25million up to $2million.’’

‘‘The additional funds will be used to ensure there is an adequate level of operational contingency to support operations in the first two years,’’ the background report details.

Council’s proposed financial contribution is set to be made across two to three financial years.

Council has $200000 allocated in the 2018-19 budget.

‘‘Council’s contribution will be allocated to the infrastructure build costs and not the ongoing operational costs of the Museum,’’ the background reads.

‘‘Should council proceed, a formal funding agreement would be developed by both parties.’’

It is anticipated MOVE could attract an average of 17500 additional admissions per year; a 100 per cent increase on visitation numbers to the existing motor museum.

It could accommodate a dozen events, prompt the re-establishment of the annual Shepparton Truck Show — expected to attract at least 5,000 visitors — and during its short-term construction period, is projected to generate $13million in economic output, supporting 14 direct and 22 indirect jobs.

The council report says a business model for the estimated $6.25million project includes harnessing one megawatt of solar power, capable of generating power for 250 to 300 homes along with battery storage and vehicle charging stations.

‘‘Discussions are under way with the state to secure funding for this component of the project,’’ it reads.

‘‘The Victorian Government contribution could be to fund renewable energy infrastructure for the facility.’’

‘‘Approval of the business case allows the project to move along to its next stage in seeking state government support and private industry funding support, which would then allow council to make a final decision on whether to contribute financially to the project.’’