Memorial Park has been earmarked as the probable location for a multi-use sports facility by Edward River Council.
A $130,000 funding allocation in July from council’s Stronger Communities Fund for a sporting masterplan was originally targeted at developments to complement either the Sports Stadium or Swim Centre.
But after considering a report from general manager Adam McSwain, Memorial Park is likely to become a bigger focus. Instead of a major sporting facility, council will look at upgrades and expansion to existing infrastructure.
Mr McSwain told council the original preferred option was creating a multi-use facility for netball, cricket and rugby in Scott’s Park near the pool, however this was not favoured by council staff or councillors. An upgrade of Scott’s Park may still proceed, but will depend on funding.
Mr McSwain said the focus under the Stronger Communities Fund would include upgrading the basketball stadium in its existing location, an upgrade to the swimming pool and constructing a water park and upgrades of several other sporting facilities across Deniliquin in their existing locations.
‘‘Additionally, through a more recent funding program, Stronger Country Communities, a funding application has been submitted to undertake a significant upgrade of Scott’s Park,” he said.
‘‘Each of these projects will be taking place in their existing locations and will upgrade the existing assets. As a result, it is proposed to hold-off on completing a multi-use sporting precinct for this location.
‘‘The (Memorial Park masterplan) project is still supported, and it is recommended that $50,000 funding still be provided to its development.
‘‘It is proposed that this funding be allocated to a consultant to complete both a masterplan for the Memorial Park reserve and a concept design and costing for a combined multi-use sporting facility to be located at Memorial Park.
‘‘Through completing both the masterplan and facility concept design, at the end of the project council and the community will be well positioned to submit funding applications.’’
Mr McSwain recommended the remaining Stronger Communities funding be shared between the development of a Deniliquin Waring Gardens masterplan ($30,000) and an Edward River Council Recreation Strategy ($50,000). The recommendation was supported by council.
‘‘(Council) officers believe the proposed strategic planning projects for both Waring Gardens and the recreation strategy will provide greater value in the short to medium term. It is proposed that the idea of a single combined and centrally located sporting precinct be revisited in 5-10 years’ time,’’ Mr McSwain said.
‘‘The Waring Gardens is an iconic garden and receives a high level of usage for both passive and active recreation. In line with the priorities raised by the community through the development of the Public Space Strategy, it is proposed that a masterplan and management plan be developed specifically for Waring Gardens.
‘‘This plan will include a significant community consultation component and set the framework and management practices to ensure Waring Gardens continues to prosper as an iconic garden well into the future.
‘‘It is proposed to develop a recreation strategy that covers the entire Edward River Council local government area.
‘‘This strategy will provide a prioritised and costed listing of priority recreation projects, provide recommendations on co-location of sporting facilities, develop service levels for council sporting facilities and recommend a proposed approach for achieving equity in council service provision at sporting facilities.’’