Turning the first sod for stage one of the Arkinstall Park regional sports centre development yesterday were (from left) Tweed mayor Barry Longland, minister for regional development and local government, Anthony Albanese, Richmond MP Justine Elliot and Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers rep, Tony Radanovic.
Work is set to begin on one of the Tweed’s biggest community infrastructure projects, the multimillion-dollar regional sports complex at Arkinstall Park, after yesterday’s official turning of the sod.
Stage one of the facility at Tweed Heads South, which will boost tennis, netball facilities and passive recreation, is now ready to be built and due for completion in just over a year.
Federal minister for regional development and local government, infrastructure and transport, Anthony Albanese, joined Richmond MP Justine Elliot and Tweed mayor Barry Longland for the sod-turning ceremony.
Stage one includes a regional high-performance tennis facility including eight new grand slam surface courts including fencing and lighting, new clubhouse facilities, and upgrade to existing tennis clubhouse to complement the new facilities.
The new and upgraded netball facilities include new amenities, upgrades to existing club building, lighting of existing courts and resurfacing of synthetic courts.
And improved access and passive recreation includes new recreation areas including picnic/playground, new car parking and internal access road, formalising of car parking along Cunningham Street (western end), and road connection to Kirkwood Road, which links to the Pacific Highway.
The $7.75 million stage-one project is being funded through the federal government’s Regional Development Australia Fund ($4,991,800), Tweed Shire Council’s section 94 development contributions ($2,620,000), Tennis Australia ($100,000) and Tweed Heads Netball Association ($30,000).
Cr Longland said the diverse funding sources for the project reflected that the development of the Arkinstall Park regional facility was a partnership between two levels of government, a major sporting body and the community.
‘These facilities will cater for the needs of 1,300 local sporting participants from netball, tennis and soccer, plus increased numbers from carnival events held throughout the year,’ Cr Longland said.
‘This project will provide improved regional-level sporting facilities in Arkinstall Park, primarily providing facilities for higher levels of competition, such as enabling state level competitions for netball, and providing a regional tennis facility that complies with the facility requirements identified by Tennis Australia.
‘The project will also provide improved parking onsite, and recreation facilities for families, such as picnic areas and a playground.
‘Future stages will provide regional football and indoor facilities. It’s not just facilities we’ll be building here; it’s our community.
‘Sport brings together people of all ages and backgrounds, who gather to pursue a common interest and, in doing so, build stronger, more connected communities.’
Works will start next month.
Mr Albanese said the new facility addresses a major gap in the Tweed’s sporting facilities.
‘High-quality sports infrastructure strengthens local communities. The new centre will be a big boost to the region and will include a new high-performance tennis centre and a regional netball facility,’ he said.
‘In fact, Tennis Australia envisages it will become the major regional facility for northern NSW and southern Gold Coast, capable of hosting state and regional events.
‘The combination of quality facilities and proximity to Gold Coast International Airport will make it an excellent support and training facility for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.’
Mrs Elliot said, ‘better infrastructure for the region will increase sports participation by families, increase the involvement of school students in these sports and the capability of schools in the region’.