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Shuttlecock resting on badminton racquet.

Sporting facilities plan progressing

Wednesday 13 September

East Gippsland Shire Council anticipates its draft Bairnsdale Sporting Facilities Plan will be released for public comment early next year following the consultation and research that has been taking place throughout the year.


The plan will allow council and sporting groups to see which facilities may be under utilised and able to cater for additional sports or clubs.


It will also identify whether any sections of the population are over or under represented in their access to publicly-owned sporting facilities.


Director Community and Strategic Development Kate Nelson said council and the sporting community recognised the increasing challenges in maintaining sporting infrastructure to required standards and finding space for new clubs and emerging sports.


“We receive requests for assistance to upgrade facilities on an ad hoc basis and realised we needed to know what sporting facilities we have, and who is using them, in order to make decisions that will create the ideal mix of sporting facilities to service the town now and into the future,” Ms Nelson said.


As part of this research and consultation process, council has met with the Wy Yung Recreation Reserve Committee of Management and its user groups.


The reserve is home to the Wy Yung Cricket Club, Wy Yung Football Netball Club, Wy Yung Angling Club and Wy Yung Junior Football Club.


Participation data from 2016 shows the clubs have a combined membership of more than 440 members.


“The reserve is managed by the committee of management on behalf of council.


“It is believed the reserve was established in the 1960s. Its location next to the Mitchell River has made it vulnerable to flooding from either the Mitchell River or the Backwater,” Ms Nelson said.


“Areas of the reserve are inundated during most floods. This can cause infrastructure damage, inability for clubs to use the facility, extra work for volunteers to prepare the site for inundation, and the deposit of rubbish and silt on grounds.


“Any future building improvements at the reserve would need to meet planning conditions for building in a floodplain.


"These conditions would increase building costs and create access issues for users who would need to use stairs, ramps or a lift to reach facilities such as the change rooms, canteen and function room,” Ms Nelson said.


“If it is decided that clubs should relocate from the Wy Yung Recreation Reserve, the plan will have identified appropriate sites with the capacity to cater for additional user groups.”


Council has also applied for funding to prepare a sporting facilities plan for the whole shire to guide future planning across the region.


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