Mildura Weekly : Friday August 29 Vol 8 No 43
NEWS 03 FRIDAY, AUGUST 29, 2014 MILDURA WEEKLY.COM.AU Any delay ‘will just make it harder’ By BEN PISCIONERI THE longer it takes to begin work on Sunraysia’s long-awaited in- door sports stadium, the more expensive, and potentially more difficult it will be to get off the ground, according to a Mildura Rural City Councillor. Cr Mark Eckel’s comments this week were made ahead of a decision at last night’s monthly Council Meeting as to where such a facility should be built. Councillors considered a re- port indicating Council-owned land on the corner of Sixteenth Street and Deakin Avenue would be the preferred site. It’s the same site initially cho- sen for a much larger sporting pre- cinct that under previous Council plans would have housed not only an indoor sports stadium, but two high standard sporting ovals. Those plans would have re- quired more land than the 12 hectares Council owns at that location, which is where the $25million Mildura South Sport- ing complex fell over several years ago. Two hundred submissions were made opposing those plans, which included a proposal to compulsorily acquire land closer to San Mateo Avenue, resulting in an independent panel recom- mending the project at that loca- tion be abandoned. In the meantime, Sunraysia’s estimated 5000 indoor sport athletes continued to cry out for more facilities, a problem which has plagued them for decades and stifled their growth. The fact that Council is con- sidering the site again points to the possibility of a scaled down version of the unsuccessful Mil- dura South Sporting Complex, which would provide much needed relief for indoor sporting groups. Indoor Sporting Groups spokesman, Paul Freckleton, has been involved in the fight for more facilities for indoor sport- ing groups for more than 15 years and welcomed the report recom- mending the Mildura South site as the preferred location. “It’s good that it’s finally come to a head and that they’ve got it on the table to make this decision,” Mr Freckleton said this week. “We, as a group, have been saying this is the right spot after the first study 15 years ago indi- cated it would be the best spot, and we haven’t moved from that position. “Provided it gets up at this week’s Council meeting, this will be a major step forward because the costings and the feasibility study can be put together and we can then go to State and Federal Governments for funding to get this happening.” Cr Eckle said significant prog- ress has already been made on a business plan for an indoor sport- ing complex, but had come to the point where more information, including a possible location, was needed to progress it further. “If this is passed (the report recommending the South Mildu- ra site) then the business plan can be fast-tracked, and that would be before the end of the year,” he said. Mr Freckleton said the busi- ness plan would provide an op- portunity for sporting groups to do their own lobbying for gov- ernment funding, given funding is the major hurdle. He said that despite making strong contacts at government level over the past decade, and the strength of indoor sporting groups as a lobby group for fund- ing, they’ve been hamstrung up until now by the lack of a busi- ness plan and feasibility study. “Sporting groups can help lobby government for money, but we’ve needed costings and a feasi- bility study,” Mr Freckleton said. Cr Eckel, who holds the sport and recreation portfolios, said the project needs to start “sooner rather than later” if it’s to be fea- sible. He said Councillors were told in April this year that the capital costs for an indoor facility in Mil- dura have risen from an estimat- ed $17.3million in 2010 to more than $21million by next year, and costs will continue to go up. • Continued Page 6 Indoor sports need a home sooner rather than later: Eckel • BIG PLANS: Mildura Rural City Councillor Mark Eckel, BELOW, on the proposed 16th Street site and ABOVE, Indoor Sporting Groups spokesman Paul Freckleton. Grief Loss & Bereavement Depression & Anxiety Relationship Stress Management & relaxation techniques Resiliance & Assertiveness Training Behavioural Change Personal Counselling professional counseller Offers private and confidential therapeutic support for people of all ages with: CALL 0418 502 207 7 Scott Crescent Mildura loca l MILDURA DISCOUNT BATTERIES lolca l *conditions apply Exide batteries now come with up to 42 MONTHS WARRANTY FREEbatterytesting 227 Tenth St Mildura | 0400 017 387 Open Daily 10am - 5pm Your local Melba’s Chocolates Representative Sole Stockists of Melba’s Dad’s Chocolate Bags SSki M’DdChlB d’ l h lb l i fM For Father’s Day FoFF r oo FaFF taa htt ehh ree s Dayyaa GRAB SOMETHING FROM THEWID E GRAB SOMETHING FFRROOMM TTHHEEWIDD E SELECTION OF MELBA’S CHOCOLAT ES!
Friday August 22 Vol 8 No 42
Friday September 5 Vol 8 No 44