The Munarra Centre for Regional Excellence (MCRE) is proposed to be an indigenous-led sporting and education precinct in Shepparton.

The MCRE is Australia’s first Indigenous-led national pathways and university education campus. The MCRE will be a hub of connection and transformation for indigenous and non-Indigenous people from across Australia.

Background

In 2008, the RFNC first promoted the concept of the development of a regional centre of excellence. In 2009, Council adopted the Shepparton Sports Precinct Master Plan, which provided space for future development of a new University of Melbourne Academy of Sport, Health and Education (ASHE) building, now the MCRE.

In August 2016, Council agreed to support, in-principle, a proposal to provide land on the Sports Precinct site to realise the MCRE project.

The Munarra Centre Project Heads of Agreement was signed by the project partners (including Council) in 2018. The project partners included the State of Victoria acting by and through the DPC; State of Victoria acting by and through the DELWP; Kaiela Institute Ltd; the RFNC; and the University of Melbourne.

In 2018-19, Council prepared Amendment C211gshe to the Greater Shepparton Planning Scheme to facilitate development of the MCRE, Rumbalara Re-life (Rumba Re-life), Shepparton Sports and Events Centre (SSEC) and associated drainage infrastructure. The Amendment was approved and gazetted by the Minister for Planning on 24 December 2019.

Consultation on the lease of land

At the Ordinary Council Meeting held on 21 December 2021, Council resolved, amongst other things, to undertake a community engagement process in relation to its intention to enter into an Agreement for Lease in relation to the MCRE and to lease the land to Munarra Limited in accordance with Section 115 of the Local Government Act 2020.

Community consultation commenced on Friday, 28 January 2022 and concluded on Monday, 28 February 2022.

Common themes that emerged from the submissions were, that the:

  1. proposal would take away existing parking for the Shepparton Sports Precinct;
  2. proposal impacts upon the future expansion of the Shepparton Sports Stadium;
  3. location is inappropriate for the development; and
  4. proposed site is suitable and is identified as an appropriate location in the Greater Shepparton Sports City Master Plan 2011.

A summary of the consultation undertaken, the issues raised in submissions and Council officers’ response to all submissions is included in the Conversation Report below.

Next Steps

Council is now required to consider the outcome of the consultation process relating to Council’s intention to lease part of the Council-owned land to Munarra Limited at 120-174 Numurkah Road and 80 Packham Street, Shepparton for the purposes of realising the MCRE at the Ordinary Council Meeting to be held on 21 June 2022.

Council may decide to lease the land, part of the land or not to lease the land.