Snowy Valleys Council has given the green light for a new playing surface and irrigation system to be installed at Batlow Oval, which it expects to be ready in time for spring.
The $613,680 works have been made possible thanks to a grant from the NSW Government’s Showgrounds Stimulus Funding Program and will deliver a swathe of new features including automatic irrigation and rain sensors.
The Batlow community will benefit from the upgrade, which also includes levelling of the existing playing surface, new drainage, installation of turf underlay and a new playing surface, which will be welcomed by local footballers and cricketers.
The inclusion of a 400m running track will ensure the local school and athletic community – and aspiring Olympians – are also competing on a level playing field.
The installation of automatic irrigation systems and rain sensors will drastically improve the facility, as will a planned installation of ground lighting.
Snowy Valleys Council executive director of infrastructure Heinz Kausche said the Batlow Oval upgrade will significantly improve the quality of playing fields for users as well as making it easier to keep them in better condition all year round, largely due to the automatic irrigation and improved drainage.
Batlow Oval closed to the public on 24 June and the upgrade is scheduled for completion by the end of August 2020.
As part of phase one of the Showgrounds Stimulus Funding Program, Snowy Valleys Council also received funding for showgrounds at Adelong and Tumbarumba.
Adelong Showground received $30,582 for an upgrade of the dining and kitchen area, while Tumbarumba Showground will see the installation of lighting around the oval from a $180,000 stimulus grant.
For the NSW electorate of Wagga Wagga, in addition to the $746,556 Showgrounds Stimulus Funding Program allocation in May 2020, it received an injection of a further $393,701 this week as part of phase two, all of which have been welcomed by local MP Dr Joe McGirr.
Dr McGirr announced that as part of the phase two allocation, $120,000 had been successfully sought for the supply and installation of fencing around Batlow Oval, and a further $10,000 to Adelong Showground for the kitchen and dining area upgrade, which now includes installation of a new cool room.
Tumut Showground received $97,000 for the installation of underground power cables, while Wagga Wagga Showground was allocated $85,462 for an upgrade to its amenities area, and Lockhart Showground can finally seal its internal access road after receiving a $81,239 allocation.
This extra funding comes as a result of the NSW Government’s announcement on 29 June of an additional $10.77 million in funding to support the existing $12.5 million allocation as part of its COVID-19 stimulus package.
NSW Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said a further $12.5 million would be allocated to more showground upgrade projects during the next financial year, bringing total spending to $35.77 million.
“These stimulus investments will provide a boost for communities and their economies by supporting tradies and building material suppliers with work, while strengthening showground infrastructure for the future,” she said.