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Byron Shire
February 27, 2021

Black Rocks sports field a windfall to ratepayers

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There seems to be confusion re what has been spent on the Black Rocks sports field to date. I refer your readers to the minutes of Tweed Shire Council meeting 12 December 2013 which details this expenditure as follows:

In 2003 the developers paid for the establishment of the sports field. They also agreed to contribute additional koala habitat land on the basis that council would pay for the sports field’s infrastructure ($900,000), which is therefore a cost to the developers (not ratepayers) paid for by land contribution instead of cash.

A total of $154,000 has been spent by council on infrastructure to date. As there is doubt as to the future use of the field, the remaining $746,000 may not need to be spent (as explained below), which means that this amount will be a windfall for (not an expense to) ratepayers.

Council is developing a new Tweed Shire Sports Field Strategy. One task is to identify surpluses in existing sporting infrastructure. This includes assessment and recommendation for the use of the Black Rocks sports field, taking into consideration significant ecological impact issues.

A council officer has advised me that existing sporting facilities in the Tweed are adequate for the population’s current needs.

I am also aware that some of Pottsville’s sporting infrastructure is not fully utilised. Council’s new strategy may determine that more efficient use of existing facilities will diminish the need for the Black Rocks sports field or any other alternative.

My understanding is that when the Dunloe Park residential estate goes ahead, the developer will provide sporting facilities to cater for increased population.

I hope that council will acknowledge a past bad decision in the location of the Black Rocks sports field, and that a solution can be found which protects our fragile koala population as well as ensuring appropriate sporting facilities, with minimal cost to ratepayers.

David Norris, Pottsville

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