Media statement - Newcastle Basketball Stadium

12 Dec 2023

In March this year, Newcastle Basketball announced it would not be proceeding with its previously communicated stadium relocation to Lake Macquarie. Instead, its then Chair announced that they would be seeking to build a new stadium in Newcastle on Crown Land opposite McDonald Jones Stadium at Broadmeadow.

Part of the March announcement was a statement from the Member for Lake Macquarie Greg Piper that he had secured a commitment for an additional $5 million from then Premier Dominic Perrottet. This funding was in addition to $25 million committed by the NSW Government in 2019.

The Crown Land site, which is home to Wallarah and Blackley Ovals and within a kilometre of the existing stadium, is owned by the NSW Government and managed on its behalf by City of Newcastle.

City of Newcastle Executive Manager Community and Recreation Lynn Duffy said her team has been working closely with local sporting groups and Lambton High School to ensure that should the NSW Government approve the development of the proposed basketball stadium at Wallarah and Blackley Ovals, new playing locations would be secured.

"Since April, we've been meeting with the sporting groups that use Wallarah and Blackley Ovals. This includes both the Area Manager Northern and the Local Infrastructure Manager for CricketNSW, as well as representatives from Northern NSW Football, Newcastle Football and Lambton Jaffas. Each has provided us with a list of their infrastructure needs so that we ensure they continue to have access to quality sporting facilities for the long term," Ms Duffy said.

"Our next meeting with each of the sporting groups is occurring on Monday.

"While construction on a new basketball stadium is not expected to start until 2025, we're prioritising discussions with local sporting groups to ensure that disruptions to their sporting and recreation needs are minimised. We understand that that relocating these sporting clubs will require upgrading of other local fields.

"To be very clear, the basketball project is being managed by the NSW Government, is being funded by the NSW Government, and will be assessed by the NSW Government. Our only role is to ensure that all sporting groups continue to have access to quality sporting facilities. This is not only possible but will happen well before the basketball stadium is built.

"I note Sonia Hornery has suggested that a better location for the basketball stadium would be within the proposed Hunter Park. This land is also owned by the NSW Government. The Newcastle Herald reported many months ago that the business case for the relocation of the Harness Racing Club out of Broadmeadow had been shared with the NSW Government. To date none of the required $50 million funding has been allocated by the NSW Government.

"The proposed basketball stadium has been declared State Significant Development by the Department of Planning and Environment, who will act as the planning authority when a DA is lodged by Newcastle Basketball.

"Members of the community will be given the chance to comment on the proposal by the Department of Planning as part of the standard assessment and public exhibition process, which will also address issues around traffic movements and stormwater management. Newcastle Basketball has been in talks with Venues NSW to consider a co-use arrangement for the parking at McDonald Jones Stadium, which is largely unused outside of sporting matches and larger event days."

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said Council's adopted Strategic Sports Plan includes a process to support all local sporting clubs whether they be the new facilities for football and cricket under construction at Wickham Park and Darling Street or the new lights being installed at Elemore Vale Reserve Field or at Stevenson Park in Mayfield.

"We work collaboratively to find solutions that help facilitate participation and the shared use of our facilities. I really feel for Newcastle Basketball and welcome the commitment that the NSW Government will finally deliver the long overdue new basketball stadium for the over five thousand local children and players that have been desperate for new facilities promised by successive NSW Governments. We will always work towards a collaborative solution that puts the community needs first and foremost," Cr Nelmes said.

"Any claim that there had been no consultation regarding the proposed new basketball stadium is incorrect. Given this is a NSW Government project, both formal and informal consultation processes will continue to ensure a positive outcome is reached for all parties, and that this well overdue project is not delayed even further.

"The State Member for Newcastle and Shadow Minister for the Hunter were both supportive and briefed prior to Newcastle Basketball's announcement in March this year. Greg Piper as the Member for Lake Macquarie made the announcement given he had secured an additional $5 million from the then Premier.

"City of Newcastle staff also informed the sporting groups prior to Newcastle Basketball's announcement in March that Newcastle Basketball was hoping to build a new stadium at Blackley and Wallarah Ovals.

"I've been advised by City of Newcastle staff that discussions to date with local sporting groups are progressing, noting the 2024 seasons will remain unaffected.

"Newcastle Basketball has made it very clear it is willing to work with the local community to ensure that the project is a win for all. For that reason, and noting no DA has been submitted to the NSW Government, I encourage everyone to reach out to Newcastle Basketball so that all comments are evidence based and focused on securing much needed sporting infrastructure for our city and the basketball communities of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens."


The proposed Hunter Basketball Stadium is a Newcastle Basketball project that has been in development for many years and undergone several iterations. Newcastle Basketball was told by the NSW Government that they needed to move from their current location in Hunter Park over seven years ago so their site could be used for much needed housing. Newcastle Basketball have been working with the NSW Government ever since to find a home for their growing 5,000 local members. Their current facilities are not fit-for-purpose.

It was originally intended to be built on a site on Hillsborough Road, Charlestown and in 2019 received a commitment of $25 million from the former NSW Government, however this proposal was refused by the Joint Regional Planning Panel on the grounds of adverse traffic impacts on local residents. To avoid any such concerns, the proposed basketball stadium will feature a lane exiting Turton Road to avoid any disruption to existing traffic, and to ensure vehicles are away from Lambton High School. These plans follow extension discussions with Transport for NSW.