THE $3.5 million state budget funding for an indoor stadium at Gisborne Secondary College has been greeted with caution by the basketball community.
The Coalition made a pre-election pledge to inject the funds into a "joint-use" project with the community and last week Treasurer Kim Wells came good on the promise with his budget announcement.
It came weeks after the Macedon Ranges Council began to apply pressure on the government to "set the timing" of the promised funding to ensure plans for the stadium could progress.
But the council said it wanted the stadium to be built on land it owned in New Gisborne instead of at the college.
A delighted college principal John Flanagan said last week: "This funding will enable us to upgrade the gym and drama room and get us into some permanent classrooms with state-of-the-art facilities and share these facilities with the community."
The council has allocated $2.5 million in its draft budget towards the $6.8 million stadium.
The community will contribute $120,000.
The work will include two indoor multi-purpose courts and improvements to the existing outdoor netball courts, changerooms and meeting rooms, and improved car parking.
Michelle O'Gorman, secretary of the Gisborne Bulldogs Basketball Club, which has been pushing for an indoor stadium since its formation in 1994, said the club's preferred site remained New Gisborne.
She said there had been no direct discussions between members of the indoor stadium working group and the Education Department.
She doubted that plans for the stadium would progress.
"In relation to the project, we have no confidence of being able to enter into an agreement with the department. At this point, we still strongly support the site in New Gisborne. We have a growing population and will need facilities for the future."
But Mr Flanagan disagreed with the council and the club.
"If the stadium was built in New Gisborne our kids would not be able to use it as it's too far to walk and bussing the kids there would cost a bucketload."
Northern Victoria MLC Donna Petrovich described the stadium funding as a "huge boost" for Gisborne, but Macedon MP Joanne Duncan said there was little in the budget to help families.
Mayor Henry McLaughlin said the council could begin talks with the state government about planned works.
"Council wants to ensure the whole community, including a range of schools, will be able to access this new facility both during the day and in the evenings."
Other aspects of the budget:
* $250,000 has been allocated for a study into the need for a secondary college in Romsey.
* There was no mention of funding for the multimillion-dollar planned merger of the Kyneton secondary and primary schools and a kindergarten.