Council drops Sports Centre project

NO-GO: Naracoorte Lucindale Council has dropped the Naracoorte Sports Centre project after community feedback.

Elisabeth Champion

Naracoorte Lucindale Council will not proceed with the proposed Sports Centre following community consultation.

Instead, the council will work with the Naracoorte Sports Centre committee if they wish to be the project lead.

They will also continue to investigate an indoor aquatic facility.

At the March council meeting, councillors voted that the council does not pursue the proposed Naracoorte Regional Sports Centre $35M project build, continues to work with the sporting clubs and user groups at the Naracoorte and District Sports Centre to progress future developments at the Sports Centre- on the understanding that the Sports Committee would be the project lead, advises sporting clubs and user groups at the Sports Centre that there is an expectation that they will need to contribute financially towards future developments and continues to investigate concepts of a hybrid indoor aquatic facility at the Naracoorte Swimming Lake.

Late last year, the council opened public consultation on the project, presenting two projects – one of $8 million and one of $35 million, and several funding methods.

The project received mixed reviews during the consultation period, with council receiving 385 responses, one of highest numbers ever received by council.

Of those only 55 per cent were supportive of council continuing with the project at all, with 32 per cent against it.

Further, 37.4 per cent of respondents believed the council should not pursue any of the project builds, but the remaining 62.6 per cent thought the council should pursue the $8M project build, $35M project build or either project build.

In the written responses, around 13 per cent expressed they wanted an indoor aquatic facility.

Councillor Tom Dennis said he supported the motion to shelve the project.

“Not everyone is going to be pleased with the outcome but I think from the survey, we’ve got a very good response from the community that we’re going to spend the community’s money on an asset based centrally in Naracoorte,” he said.

“There isn’t support for $35m so we’re just wasting people’s time year after year if we continue thinking there might be because there isn’t.

“There is support for going back to the sporting clubs on an individual basis, reviewing them, giving them some submissions and contributions.”

Councillor Monique Crossling said she would support a group that was keen to see the project progress.

“I’ve had a conversation with one of the sports centre reps,” she said.

“There are five clubs that are willing to take this as their five clubs. They’re still very passionate, they want this infrastructure.

“They want to see something happen, and they don’t want to let the ball drop.”