Start on new Bay sports fields

By this time next year, kids should be running around long-awaited new sports fields at the Byron Regional Sports and Cultural Complex in Ewingsdale Road, Byron Bay.

That’s the hope of Paul Irwin, one of two Byron Bay Sports Association representatives on the project’s planning committee.

Mr Irwin’s optimism stems from Byron Council’s recent decision to award tenders for the supply and delivery of fill, topsoil, turf and turf maintenance.

Byron Council’s executive manager community infrastructure, Phil Holloway, said initial site works, due to start this week, would include preparing site access points, installation of an office, power and water.

“Stage one of the project includes extensive ground works, with fill and turf being laid on the site,” he said.

Mr Holloway said motorists might experience short delays on Ewingsdale Road as trucks entered and left the site.

“Council is very aware of the additional pressure trucks entering and leaving the site may place on the already well-used Ewingsdale Road,” he said.

“In order to minimise any traffic delays, staffed traffic controllers will be in place to assist with truck movements.”

It is expected that trucks will be entering the site on a regular basis over the next six months.

The council approved more than $3 million in tenders for the upcoming works. Tenders awarded were:

Supply and laying of turf, Hanceys Turf Supplies $308,750 (inc gst)

 Turf maintenance, Scape Shape Landscaping $268,685

Supply and installation of irrigation, Scape Shape Landscaping $478,111

Supply of select fill, Brunswick Quarries $3848

Supply of free-draining material, J&M Bashforth & Sons $1,043,707

Supply of topsoil, CM & SM Fraser P/L $1,099,767

Supply of pavement gravels, Brunswick Valley Quarries $124,215

The Byron Regional Sport and Cultural Complex will cost $16.8 million to construct and is being supported through Federal funding of $1.5 million from the Better Regions Program, $8 million from the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program and a council contribution of $5.2 million.

Negotiations over the future management of the indoor sports complex which is being built as part of the project are still continuing between the council and the Police and Community Youth Clubs (PCYC).

At its latest meeting, the council voted to submit a formal project proposal for a partnership with the PCYC to the Department of Local Government for assessment.

Mr Irwin said if the partnership went ahead, the PCYC, as well as running a range of youth programs, would look after the day-to-day management of the indoor centre in conjunction with a local committee.

He said the PCYC would have staff at the centre seven days a week – at no cost to the council. There also was the potential in the future for the PCYC to manage the whole site.

Budget constraints have seen the planned skatepark and bike track cut from the project.

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