THE provision of a much-needed new sporting precinct in Queanbeyan is still several years away despite the NSW Government giving the final go-ahead to the South Tralee development earlier this week.
A new regional sports precinct is considered a necessity by local sports groups in order to relieve stress on Queanbeyan’s already overtaxed existing sporting infrastructure.
Construction of such a facility, currently mooted for the Poplars area in Jerrabomberra, has long been tied to the fate of Tralee – a major residential development to Queanbeyan’s south.
In welcoming news of Tralee’s approval, Queanbeyan mayor Tim Overall said it was a vital step in securing improved sporting facilities for the region.
“Certainly without the South Tralee residential development, the likelihood of the developer proceeding with the Poplars area was very remote,” Cr Overall said.
“Now that [Tralee] has been approved, we can work with the developers and the community to look at a staged precinct of regional importance [to include] a whole range of sporting facilities.
“I can’t give a definitive time for that but design work and community consultation will be carried out over the next 12 months so it’s ready to go for…future funding from the Commonwealth.”
Previous proposals for a new regional sports precinct have included the possibility of a new aquatic centre, an indoor sports stadium, hockey fields, squash courts and general purpose sports fields.
Local clubs looking for a quick fix to the city’s current lack of sporting capacity however, appear set to be disappointed with work on any new facilities at the Poplars still years in the pipeline.
A Queanbeyan City Council spokesperson confirmed development of a new sporting precinct would be included as part of Council’s Delivery Program 2013-17.
Initial planning work and community consultation surrounding the project however, will not commence for at least another six months,
And any plans for new facilities remain wholly reliant on federal government funding with Queanbeyan City Council unable to cover the expected multi-million dollar price tag.
“The provision of sporting facilities will be subject to federal government funding as council does not have the financial resources to be able to allocate to significant capital expenditure,” Cr Overall said.
“Most importantly, we need to get on with the design and to get a stage one development application approved by council so it’s there on the shelf, ready to go. That way, as soon as those funds come through, we can get construction started.”