I attended the opening of the $17+ million Byron Regional Sport & Cultural Complex on Friday 10 February and agree that the mayor’s baby, the cultural and entertainment centre, is beautifully presented (despite the expensive American-sourced timber flooring now having to be lifted again) and eventually it will serve the community well.
As for Richmond MP Justine Elliot’s comments that this facility ‘would greatly benefit local kids’, well this is debatable. Any kids or teams in the north of Byron Shire will have to hire buses, or suffer extra petrol costs each week when parents have to drive their kids 20km down the road. That’s if they ever get to use it.
Echonetdaily reported, ‘the fields were unveiled during an inspection tour around the facility’. I was there before lunch on opening day accompanied by the Brunswick Byron Athletics Association president, and we walked across, not around, the sports fields on both sides of the built-up area of the cultural centre and canteen facilities, and we found that the fields were very soggy on a beautiful, sunny day. In fact, in some sections the grass was so waterlogged it smelled of rotting vegetation (grass) but I guess that’s to be expected when you build sportsfields on a flood plain with a peat bog underneath!
There were very few visitors who actually walked across the fields, because there was ample to occupy everyone around the beautiful cultural centre, eg: teams playing exhibition games in the multipurpose hall; the scent of barbecued snags luring hungry families close to the buildings; and other interesting displays around and in the cultural centre keeping visitors entertained. At a distance though, the fields looked great – until you walked on them!
I suspect that the soggy fields were the real reason that Council was not giving permission for 110 members of Little Athletics to actually use these grounds immediately.
Even so, it’s pretty pathetic for Council to argue that sportsfield user agreements and plans of management are not in place two years down the track.
Tina Petroff, Ocean Shores