18 April 2024

Planned upgrade to Bega Sports Complex about to reach milestone, council says

| Albert McKnight
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Bega Sports Complex plans

An artist’s impression of the planned upgrades to the Bega Sports Complex. Screenshot: BVSC.

Council says the long-awaited upgrade to the Bega Sports Complex will begin soon, as the construction contract will be signed and issued in the near future.

This week, Bega Valley Shire Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick said he expected to see site fencing go up in late April with demolition and construction to begin soon after.

“After months of planning and negotiations, we are pleased to see progress on this eagerly anticipated project,” he said.

“When we open the doors in 2025, the Bega Sports Complex will highlight our commitment to fostering community wellbeing through addressing and prioritising local needs.”

Bega Valley Shire Council said the project aimed to address “a number of issues with poor facilities on the site”.

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This includes outdated facilities, non-compliant and inadequate change rooms, limited disability access and ageing indoor courts. The upgrade will also improve seating and provide canteen facilities for both ovals.

“Our goal is to establish a facility that not only meets current needs but also anticipates future demands, accommodating a wide range of user groups,” Cr Fitzpatrick said.

The process began in 2017, but it did not get development approval until June 2023.

Council decided to build new structures and not keep the aging sports stadium building in August 2020, endorsed the upgrade’s concept plan in June 2021, determined to direct funding from its planned upgrade to the Pambula sports complex towards Bega’s project in May 2022, then lodged the DA in August 2022.

In mid-March 2024, council said the upgrade had been delayed due to a number of setbacks during the detailed scoping and planning phases, including cost escalations during and post COVID-19.

It also said that due to the setbacks, it had submitted funding variations to the State Government to extend the delivery of the project up to 30 months compared to the originally proposed finalisation date.

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“The bureaucratic process requires the NSW Government to move the funds previously allocated to the 2023/24 budget into the 2024/25 budget, and funds previously allocated to the 2024/25 budget into the 2025/26 budget,” council said.

“The amounts stay the same. This is purely a bureaucratic process of the NSW Government to ensure projects meet their agreed delivery milestones.”

Council’s CEO Anthony McMahon said from a council perspective, this had been a challenge.

“There have been unforeseen planning setbacks we have had to deal with, but we can’t wait to get started with this highly important community project,” he said at the time.

The NSW Office of Sport has provided $11.7 million to the project, while council has applied to the Australian Government’s Growing Regions Program for an extra $4.8 million and will contribute funding itself.

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