Construction on the long-awaited Byron Regional Sport and Cultural Complex in Ewingsdale Road, Byron Bay, has officially started.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Local Government, Anthony Albanese, turned the first ‘sod’ last Saturday.
Byron Mayor Cr Jan Barham said the federal funding support of $9.5 million had allowed the community-initiated project to begin the construction phase.
Cr Barham said she was thrilled to see the project start and thanked the Federal Government for its major funding support and commitment to the project, and gave special thanks to Richmond MP Justine Elliot for her ongoing support.
She said work on the site was a tribute to the tireless work over the last five years between the council and the Ewingsdale Sports Field Working Group which included members of the Byron Bay Sports Association and community members.
“The complex will provide essential facilities to the shire, along with the economic benefits of attracting additional sporting and cultural events,” she said.
“An active sporting community has many health benefits for the shire and the complex will provide much-needed facilities for our enthusiastic sporting community as well as providing for other community events.”
Cr Barham said the project would provide an immediate economic boost to the shire, with up to 15 people each day expected to work on the project over the next three years.
The council’s executive manager of community infrastructure, Phillip Holloway, said stage one of the project included the access roundabout, fencing and the design, supply and installation of the site transformer.
Mr Holloway said final design details were being completed for the access roundabout on Ewingsdale Road and tenders were expected to be called this month.
The council was successful in 2009 in receiving Federal Government funding of $8 million for the project.
With a final cost estimated to be $16.8 million, the council has contributed the remaining $7.3 million.
When completed in 2012, the complex will be home to sporting teams including soccer, rugby, cricket, athletics, basketball, netball and volleyball as well as cultural events.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.