Improvements on the way for Smith Park

30 May 2024

Work will get underway at Smith Park next month as part of a multimillion-dollar upgrade of the popular Hamilton North sportsground.

Councillors unanimously voted this week to award the contract for construction, which includes new drainage and irrigation, the realignment of fields used for football, Oztag and cricket, as well as the repositioning of three synthetic cricket wickets.

The upgrade of the 56,000 sqm site is being delivered by City of Newcastle with support from a $2.5 million grant secured by the Newcastle Junior Cricket Association through the NSW Government’s Multi-Sport Community Facility Fund.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the project aligns with the Newcastle 2040 Community Strategic Plan.

"Newcastle 2040 calls for the community to be engaged in local planning to help create quality parkland and recreation facilities, promoting active and healthy communities, and ensuring people of all abilities can enjoy our public spaces," Cr Nelmes said.

"City of Newcastle has received positive feedback following community consultation regarding the draft Smith Park Masterplan and the stage one works.

"We'll continue to engage with the community throughout the development of the Masterplan to ensure the requirements of our residents are considered."

NSW Minister for Sport Stephen Kamper said the upgrade of Smith Park will enable more Newcastle residents to play sport, be active and healthy. 

“Enabling more people to play sport, regardless of age, gender or ability through inclusive and accessible facilities is a key objective of the Multi-Sport Community Facility Fund," Minister Kamper said.

“The approval of the construction contract by City of Newcastle is an important milestone in this vital community sporting project, which will create jobs and provide an economic boost to the region.”

Chair of City of Newcastle's Sports Infrastructure Working Party, Councillor Peta Winney-Baartz said the stage one works are just the beginning for Smith Park.

"Stage two of the Masterplan forms part of our Strategic Sport Plan 2020 and is designed to address future demand and inform the ongoing improvements to our sporting infrastructure," Cr Winney-Baartz said.

"Future works proposed for Smith Park include a community building, upgraded carparks and footpaths, new lighting, a multi-sports court and the upgrade of cricket practice nets.

"Time and time again the Strategic Sport Plan 2020 provides us with a platform to work with our local sporting organisations.

"It helps City of Newcastle align our priorities and facilitate successful grant applications, enhancing our already positive relationships with clubs and officials."

Newcastle Junior Cricket President Andrew Cornwell said the association is delighted to partner with the NSW Government and City of Newcastle to deliver this much needed upgrade.

"This $2.5 million investment will provide top quality playing conditions for the next generation of Newcastle’s young cricketers," Mr Cornwell said.