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April 19, 2021

$1.6m G’bah sports ground upgrade underway

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Lismore’s mayor Jenny Dowell, Lismore MP Thomas George, Bennett Constructions site manager Scott Bennett and the council’s project manager Paul Smith at Clifford Park yesterday. (Darren Coyne)
Lismore’s mayor Jenny Dowell, Lismore MP Thomas George, Bennett Constructions site manager Scott Bennett and the council’s project manager Paul Smith at Clifford Park yesterday. (Darren Coyne)

Darren Coyne

A $1.6 million upgrade of Clifford Park in Goonellabah will result in ‘world class’ facilities for Lismore’s Aboriginal Rugby League team Northern United and the wider community.

Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell and local MP Thomas George inspected progress at the grounds yesterday following wet-weather hold-ups to the project.

Once completed, the upgrade will include a new sports amenities building with change rooms and a kiosk, car park upgrade and landscaping works.

Cr Dowell told Echonetdaily that the facility was expected to become a focal point for healthy activity in the area.

‘This is so close to the main area of Goonellabah where lots of Aboriginal families live so this facility is expected to become a focus point for healthy activity,’ Cr Dowell said.

NSW Hospitality, Gaming and Racing minister Troy Grant and Mr George, announced funding for the upgrade in July last year.

‘The upgrade will bring together a range of community, recreational and sporting activities including walking tracks and exercise and playground equipment to address community needs for safe open spaces for children and youth to gather,’ Mr Grant said.

‘The site, which is currently unfit for use, will be transformed into a place where community can come and participate in sport and recreation in a safe and functional environment.

‘Once complete, it’s expected the project will greatly increase participation among aboriginal youth, many of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds by promoting pride and identity within the local community. ‘

Lismore MP Thomas George said in addition to recreational facilities, the site would also include an amenities building and car park and provide a much needed boost to the local community.

‘This is great for Northern United and the general community because it will provide a world class facility in Goonellabah,” Mr George said yesterday.

He said the Clubs NSW funding for the project was a ‘great win for the community’.

The upgrade is expected to be completed in time for the rugby league season, weather permitting.

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