12 December 2022

New amenities building to be constructed in Murrumbateman after five years of lobbying

| Evelyn Karatzas
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The Murrumbateman Recreation Ground.

The Murrumbateman Recreation Ground is set for a long-awaited upgrade. Photo: Stephanie Helm.

A grant of $1.4 million has been awarded to the Murrumbateman community to go towards upgrades to the Murrumbateman Recreation Ground.

The upgrades include the construction of a new amenities building at the grounds, which will be funded by the NSW Government’s Multi-Sport Community Facility Fund.

Murrumbateman Progress Association president Greg Weekes said they were pleased to see these facilities finally being provided to the community.

“It’s been a hard road to achieve this as council advised a previous NSW grant of $275,000 in 2020 was returned as costs had risen significantly and it could not be delivered for the original project estimate of $668,000,” he said.

“We are particularly grateful for Minister Tuckerman’s championing of this issue to date and her ongoing support for the community.

“It was heartening to hear her state that ‘We are not done yet’.”

The Yass Valley Council will also contribute an additional $700,000 to the amenities building, for a total funding of $2.1 million for the project.

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Murrumbateman Progress Association Recreational Facilities Working Group chair Stephanie Helm said the Murrumbateman Recreation Ground was the Murrumbateman community’s only sporting facility and community space.

“It is really lacking in infrastructure and facilities,” Ms Helm said.

“An amenities block is basically where the changerooms, canteen, showers and things like that are found, and they’re quite important when you’re playing sport, particularly when you have visiting teams coming through.

“We have been lobbying for an amenities building since 2015 and now it’s finally happening.”

Ms Helm said the amenities building was a $2.1 million project, and the Yass Valley Council agreed to contribute an additional $700,000 towards it.

Wendy Tuckerman making announcement

Wendy Tuckerman, Alister Henskens and Greg Weekes at the announcement at the Murrumbatemen Recreation Ground. Photo: Murrumbateman Progress Association.

Ms Helm said that by having more facilities available, such as an amenities building, they could enable more community sport and community gatherings.

“Our local AFL team had recently won their premiership, but they weren’t able to play it here in Murrumbateman as we didn’t have an appropriate facility, or any changerooms, so they had to play it in Gungahlin,” she said.

“It was quite disappointing … so now we’re really focused on trying to push for that support in rural community sports.

“When I was growing up, a lot of my friends were up in Canberra and so it was hard to keep up that social interaction, so now I really want to see the kids in our community making friends and participating in sports in the local community and making those connections.”

As well as being a home for local sport, Ms Helm said the Murrumbateman Recreation Ground was also used for local markets, the equestrian groups and the Murrumbateman Field Days festival.

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Ms Helm said it was an immediate relief to receive the funding and get the green light for the amenities building to go ahead.

“It sounds like it’s not a particularly exciting project, but just the benefits that it’s going to create for our community are going to be fantastic,” she said.

“I think it’s kind of funny that we’re excited about showers and changerooms, but hopefully these will be important additions to help encourage more people to get involved in community sport too.

“I’m hopeful that this will be the start of many improvements to the Murrumbateman Recreation Ground to ensure that it meets the needs of our growing community.

“We call it the recreation ground, but it’s a real hub for our community and a multi-purpose space, so it’s super important that we make sure it has all the basic infrastructure needed to be able to support all events.”

The Murrumbateman Progress Association president said the amenities building would also have flow-on effects for other community groups.

“The sewerage and water infrastructure to be delivered to the location will mean that our local 1st Scouts Group will finally be able to complete and use their building that was constructed in 2016 but has had no utilities connected because of the delay in this project,” he said.

To find out more about the new amenities building, visit Yass Valley Council.

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