City bid to fast-track sports hub

Tari JeffersBusselton Dunsborough Times
Dunsborough Soccer Club president Richard Lambert, Dunsborough Cricket Club's Chris King, Dunsborough Football Club president Mark Delane, Vasse MLA Libby Mettam, Royals Netball Club's Nic Brearley, and Coasters Netball Club's Cheryl White and life member Shaz Barratt. Photo: Catherine Massey
Camera IconDunsborough Soccer Club president Richard Lambert, Dunsborough Cricket Club's Chris King, Dunsborough Football Club president Mark Delane, Vasse MLA Libby Mettam, Royals Netball Club's Nic Brearley, and Coasters Netball Club's Cheryl White and life member Shaz Barratt. Photo: Catherine Massey

Busselton City Council is preparing a bid for $1.175 million of State funding to bring forward the priority one Dunsborough sporting precinct project.

The proposed Dunsborough Lakes Sports Precinct will include four rectangle fields, two cricket fields and four multi-purpose outdoor courts in stage one, planned for construction this financial year.

The council will vote on the application next week and a successful application would bring forward part of stage two — which is slated for construction in 2022-23 and includes outdoor multipurpose courts and sports lighting.

Future stages of the project also include the construction of a pavilion, change rooms, and the provision of an indoor court facility in the future.

Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said the site would have the main sporting grounds in Dunsborough well into the future.

“As part of the strategy plan that was adopted earlier this year, we saw there was a need for more public open space for soccer, football and netball,” he said.

“We will likely hear back early in the new year if we were successful.” A total of $2.35m has been allocated in the local 2020-21 budget for the precinct’s playing fields and another $2.75m has been allocated for the 2022-23 budget.

Dunsborough Football Club president Mark Delane congratulated the council on preparing a comprehensive plan that was forward-thinking and addressed the needs of Dunsborough’s sporting community into the future.

“A positive thing about the 10-year strategic plan the funding application was borne from is it does not have a contingency for funding,” he said.

“All the money is already accounted for and if the council is successful in its application, that is additional funds to help expedite the process.

“We have 20 teams all using one oval. We have the highest participation of green-space court use in the city.”

The council will be applying for up to $1.175m in funding through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries’ Community Sport and Recreation Facilities Fund 2021-22 round.

Dunsborough Coasters Netball Club vice-president and life member Shaz Barratt said while netball would benefit from the proposed sports infrastructure, the Dunsborough community as a whole would also be positively affected.

“Our facilities are not adequate for our community,” she said.

“The move to the new suggested site would benefit all sports, we need to be able to expand.”

Mrs Barratt said she “totally” supported the council in applying for State funding.

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam said a recent study indicated oval use in Dunsborough was between 11/2and two times greater in comparison to sports in the Busselton sub-district, and participation was up more than 200 per cent since the previous upgrade in 2010-12.

“I have raised this with the Minister for Sport and Recreation Mick Murray and am very appreciative that he took the time to discuss the proposal with me,” she said.

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