City of Newcastle sets strategic approach to sports facilities

09 Dec 2020

City of Newcastle’s 10-year Strategic Sports Plan was adopted by Council at Tuesday’s Council meeting.

The plan’s objective is to address future demand, inform the ongoing supply, maintenance and upgrade of sporting infrastructure with consideration to current and future needs of the community, other adopted strategies and City of Newcastle’s financial capacity and sustainability.

With the city’s population expected to increase by over 27,000 by 2031, the Strategic Sports Plan provides strategic guidance and facility direction for 14 outdoor sports including athletics, AFL, baseball, basketball, cricket, croquet, equestrian, football (soccer), netball, rugby league, rugby union, softball, tennis and touch football/Oztag.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes says the plan was developed in close consultation with Newcastle’s sporting community and is crucial as the city’s population continues to rise.

“During the development of the Strategic Sports Plan, we sought valuable feedback from local sporting clubs and associations, State Sporting Organisations, neighbouring councils and government agencies,” the Lord Mayor said.

“It was this feedback that informed the draft plan, which was then placed on public exhibition for a period of 42 days, during which we received 172 submissions.”

“Our city currently has 63 sportsgrounds venues which are home to 140 fields that span over 370 hectares, with the need to provide additional facilities to meet the demand that will come with the continued growth of western corridor suburbs.”

Councillor Peta Winney-Baartz echoed the Lord Mayor’s comments that the Strategic Sports Plan will be vital to ensure our community has access to the facilities needed to remain active.

“COVID-19 highlighted the value of getting outdoors, staying active and participating in sport, and as restrictions continue to ease, we are seeing more of our community recognising the importance of sport and recreation,” Cr Winney-Baartz said.

“As an ever-growing city, we need to plan for future growth and ensure that our community has access to a variety of sport and recreation facilities now and into the future.”

The highlights of the Strategic Sports Plan include optimisation of existing sportsgrounds, implementation of a rolling capital works program to progressively renew and upgrade existing sportsgrounds and improvement of City of Newcastle’s communication and administration processes.

A full list of the City’s sportsgrounds can be accessed here.